Philippines morning news for December 19

Philippines morning news for December 19

Philippines morning news

PHL slips in human freedom index; economic freedom pulled by poor score in ‘rule of law’
FILIPINOS have become less “free” as the Philippines slipped five notches in the Human Freedom Index (HFI) copublished by three foreign think tanks.
— Business Mirror

DA implements nationwide zoning plan to wipe out ASF
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has formally implemented its zoning plan for African swine fever (ASF) to more efficiently and effectively control and contain the spread of the fatal hog disease.
— Business Mirror

OFWs allowed only P150K worth in balikbayan boxes a year – BOC
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reminds overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning residents that they are only allowed to send in P150,000 worth of duty and tax-free goods via balikbayan boxes to their families or relatives in the Philippines per year.
— The Philippine Star

Death toll in Davao del Sur earthquake rises to 9
The death toll in the December 15 earthquake that rocked this province and other areas in Mindanao has risen to 9, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
— Rappler

World Bank extends $4-billion loans, grants to PHL for 2019-2023
THE World Bank will be extending over $4 billion worth of loans and grants to the Philippines under its new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2019-2023.
— Business Mirror

Duterte confers Order of Lapu-Lapu on SEA Games medalists
For capturing the overall title of the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games, Team Philippines was conferred the prestigious Order of Lapu-Lapu at the Malacanang Palace on Wednesday.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

PPP investments hit P2.1 trillion in 2019
A total of PHP2.1 trillion has been invested in the country through public-private partnerships (PPP) since the establishment of the build-operate-transfer law in 1994, the PPP Center (PPPC) said Wednesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Planned $2 billion LNG project in Philippines put on hold
Plans for the $2 billion Tanglawan LNG hub venture in the Philippines have been put on hold by backers CNOOC Gas and Power of China and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.
— Reuters

Water lack, delayed infrastructure imperil growth
WATER shortage and delayed infrastructure projects are considered threats to the country’s economic performance next year, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
— Business Mirror

Inflation target fixed at 2%-4% until 2022
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expects inflation at between two and four percent for 2022 as inflationary pressures from international commodities are expected to remain modest.
— The Philippine Star

PH a step closer to acquiring first submarine
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has revealed that the Philippines has come a step closer to acquiring its first submarine after the signing of an agreement with France that sought to enhance both country’s maritime defense.
— Manila Bulletin

House ratifies bill on higher ‘sin’ taxes
The House of Representatives on Wednesday night ratified the bicameral conference committee report on a bill seeking to raise the excise tax rates on alcohol products as well as heated tobacco and vapor products in the country.
— Philippine News Agency

House minority mulls filing bill exempting some gov’t workers from paying PhilHealth premiums
The House minority bloc is considering filing a measure which seeks to exempt government workers in the Salary Grade 1 to 13 from paying contributions to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
— GMA Network

World Bank grants $400-m loan to improve PH resilience
The World Bank Group’s board of executive directors approved a $400-million development policy loan to be used to manage public assets and fiscal risks in face of natural disasters and climate change.
— Manilastandard.net

No longer unbanked: 3 million Filipinos now have micro savings accounts
According to the 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 52.8 million or 77.4 percent of the total population remain unbanked.
— Business Mirror

D.E.N.R. bats for law authorizing forest rangers’ use of firearms
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is asking lawmakers to pass a law authorizing forest protection officers, or forest rangers, to bear firearms to protect themselves against “armed and dangerous” environmental criminals.
— Business Mirror

Government approves commercial use of Golden Rice
The Philippines has finally approved the controversial Golden Rice after years of rigorous biosafety assessment.
— The Philippine Star

PHL financial inclusion push best in Asia
THE Philippines’s financial inclusion program was ranked the best in Asia—tied with India’s—on the back of new advances in financial technology to include the unbanked and underbanked into the system.
— Business Mirror

Bayan Muna warns of ‘instability’ if solons allowed to ease foreign ownership caps
Giving Congress the power to ease foreign ownership caps on business will likely result in economic instability, an opposition lawmaker said Wednesday.
— ABS-CBN News (video)

Pharmaceutical companies offer to reduce prices of 150 medicines by as much as 75 percent
A group of pharmaceutical companies have offered to reduce their medicine prices that covers various diseases, including cancer, by as much as 75 percent.
— Manila Bulletin

Philippines to import Chinese-made trains for first time
China and the Philippines signed a deal on the procurement of trains on Wednesday, as the Philippines will import Chinese-made trains for the first time.
— Xinhuanet

‘Archaic’agri-agra law up for amendments
A DECADE after its initial enactment and after bouts of controversies surrounding the effectivity of its mandate, the agri-agra reform law of 2009 is now up for amendments to expand the banks’ modes of compliance to the law.
— Business Mirror

DA, DOF assure swift action on recommendations at Sulong Pilipinas Agribusiness Summit
The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Agriculture (DA)—led by Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez and Secretary William D. Dar, respectively—said the recommendations forwarded by the participants at the Sulong Pilipinas 2019 Agribusiness Summit will be presented to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for immediate action.
— Philippine Information Agency

Pernia confident PH will hit economic growth target
The country’s chief economist is optimistic the government will hit its target growth rate this and next year, given a strong push from consumption and infrastructure spending.
— Philippine News Agency

Salary hike of state workers a signature away from becoming a law
The proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2019 (SSL V), which would increase the salaries of more than 1.4 million government employees, especially those from Salary Grades 11 to 19, is now being prepared for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.
— GMA Network

Heightened alert in Maguindanao, nearby areas ahead of massacre case verdict
The authorities in Maguindanao and nearby provinces have intensified security in their respective jurisdictions in preparation for the long-awaited promulgation of the verdict in the ten-year-old Maguindanao massacre case.
— GMA Network

Senate eyes probe of legal defeats in lawsuits vs Marcoses
THE Senate may investigate the government’s failure to recover billions of pesos worth of assets that the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos and his family allegedly stole when they were still in power, a senator said on Wednesday.
— BusinessWorld

92 new health centers built in Region 1
For the year 2019, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) built 92 new health centers in Region 1.
— Philippine Information Agency

Tan grandson takes over father’s PAL posts
THE grandson and namesake of Lucio Tan has assumed several executive roles in the tycoon’s business empire after his father’s passing last month.
— Manila Times

DoJ says call of US Senate body won’t affect de Lima case
A US SENATE committee resolution urging the government to drop the charges against two of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s staunchest critics won’t affect their criminal cases, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Wednesday.
— BusinessWorld

Quakes not man-made: Solidum
Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum had shot down speculations that the strong earthquakes that have hit North Cotabato and Davao del Sur were possibly human-induced.
— Philippine News Agency

RRR cuts to tame in ’20: Diokno
After a total of 400 basis points reduction in big banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) thus far this 2019, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said they are not keen for another aggressive cuts next year.
— Philippine News Agency

Pangasinan to hold youth marathon to help eradicate illegal drugs
The provincial government of Pangasinan, together with the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) provincial federation, will hold a marathon for the youth on Dec. 20 as part of its efforts to eradicate illegal drugs in the province.
— Philippine News Agency

Senate concurs with ratification of PHL-Russia extradition, legal assistance treaties
Voting 19-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading Wednesday two resolutions concurring with the ratification of treaties between the Philippines and the Russia.
— GMA Network

Duterte wants to go around M. Manila on board a motorcycle but PSG against it
President Rodrigo Duterte has plans of going around Metro Manila on board his motorcycle.
— Eagle News

Mandatory ROTC not a scheme to militarize youth, says PSG chief
The government’s push to make the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory for senior high school students is not a scheme to install a military state, a security official said Wednesday.
— GMA Network

Albay governor asks mayors to correct ‘bloated’ typhoon damage reports
Governor Al Francis Bichara has asked Albay town and city mayors to “correct” their “bloated” typhoon damage reports submitted to the provincial government.
— Rappler

Esperon claims he, Duterte, Año part of communist ‘hit list’
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Tuesday claimed that he, President Rodrigo Duterte, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año are on an alleged communist “hit list.”
— GMA Network

PCIJ belies Ombudsman’s claims on interview about Duterte’s SALN
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) belied on Wednesday claims made by Ombudsman Samuel Martires about his interview with its executive director Malou Mangahas, including allegations of wiretapping.
— GMA Network

Cebu Pacific Joins IATA
Cebu Pacific has joined the International Air Transportation Association, IATA.
— Travel News Asia

Still withholding SALN, Martires says PCIJ violated wiretapping law
In a continuing stalemate over who would release President Rodrigo Duterte’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), Ombudsman Samuel Martires blasted the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for its report over the Office of the Ombudsman’s refusal to publicize SALNs.
— Rappler

Zaldy Ampatuan back in jail
FORMER Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the primary accused in the Maguindanao massacre case, is back in jail.
— Manila Times

Senator Marcos calls for legalization of Angkas as end of company’s LTFRB-approved test-run period looms
Senator Imee Marcos is calling for the legalization of motorcycle-for-hire riding services such as Angkas, whose test-run period of six months allowed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Metro Manila and Cebu is set to lapse this December.
— Eagle News

Health services prioritized in San Juan’s P2.55-B budget for 2020
San Juan City will get a budget of P2.55 billion for 2020, with P140 million going to the city’s health department.
— Rappler

PCUP holds job fair, offers employment opportunities for marginalized sector
To alliviate poverty among the poor and marginalized sector, the Presidential Commission for Urban Poor (PCUP) in partnership with the Department of Labor & Employment and other government agencies conducted a Job Fair on December 17 at Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City.
— Philippine Information Agency

Maguindanao massacre verdict will show PHL’s respect for life, free press –lawyer
The long-awaited verdict on the 2009 Maguindanao massacre will show whether or not the country respects the right to life and to a free press, a lawyer said Wednesday.
— GMA Network

COA disallows P6 million in benefits to Southern Leyte State University workers
The Commission on Audit recently affirmed its notice of disallowance against P6.22 million in allowances and cash assistance from 2007 and 2008 to Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) workers in a number of its campuses.
— Rappler

3.1-magnitude quake hits Davao del Sur
A 3.1-magnitude earthquake struck Davao del Sur on Wednesday, Dec 18. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake, of tectonic origin, hit 11 kilometers southwest of Kiblawan at 1:32 p.m. Depth of focus was 16 kilometers.
— Eagle News

LTFRB threatens to revoke permits of overcharging ride-hailing firms
Amid mounting complaints of fare hikes during the holiday season, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) summoned transport network companies (TNCs) and warned that their permits may be revoked if riders will continue to be charged with excessive fares.
— Rappler

DOTr sees partial operations for PNR trains connecting Bulacan and Manila by end of 2021
The Department of Transportation is eyeing partial operations for the Philippine National Railways Clark Phase 1 by the end of 2021.
— Eagle News

Grab fined an additional P16.5M
Grab Philippines was slapped an additional P16.5-million fine for violating price and service quality commitments set by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).
— Manila Times

Gwen Garcia asks Cebu schools to stop teaching in Cebuano
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia blamed subjects being taught in mother tongue and Filipino for low rankings in global assessment of reading, math comprehension.
— Rappler

11 ‘last mile schools’ up for implementation in C. Visayas
Public elementary pupils in the far-flung hinterlands and islands in Central Visayas will soon experience standard classrooms under the Department of Education’s (DepEd) “Last Mile School” program.
— Philippine News Agency

15 out of 18 fireworks manufacturers in Bulacan have no license –DTI
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday found that 15 out of the 18 fireworks manufacturers they inspected in Bulacan lacked the required licenses to operate.
— GMA Network

Army brigade in Ilocos calls for vigilance vs. CPP-NPA
The 702nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army here is urging citizens to report immediately sightings of any armed group or individuals, as it intensified monitoring on possible attacks by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) on its upcoming founding anniversary celebration.
— Philippine News Agency

DAR Tarlac cites top performing Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Org
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recognized a total of nine Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in Tarlac who are among the top performing in the country.
— Philippine Information Agency

Tissue culture lab for garden plants breaks ground in Bulacan
The first Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory (iLAB) for ornamental plants in this province will soon rise in Barangay Sta. Cruz here.
— Philippine News Agency

Class suit vs. schools allowing ‘recruitment’ to NPA mulled
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) is planning to file a class suit against some universities in Manila for allegedly allowing groups fronting for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) recruit students inside its campuses.
— Philippine News Agency

Bulacan notches third straight win in Chooks-MPBL
BULACAN picked up its third straight victory after escaping Batangas-Tanduay’s late barrage, 82-81, Wednesday in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season at the Olivarez College Gym in Paranaque City.
— Tempo

Marcos wants Grab probed for alleged fare abuse, poor service, monopoly
Senator Imee Marcos on Wednesday filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged abuse and poor service of Grab Philippines, as well as its alleged effective monopoly of ride hailing services.
— GMA Network

Man strangles 11-year-old cousin in Negros Occidental
A Grade 5 pupil was allegedly choked to death by his cousin, who is reportedly suffering from mental illness, in Bago City, Negros Occidental, last Tuesday.
— Tempo

Security of families of carnage victims assured
The Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the families of the victims of the infamous Maguindanao massacre of their safety amid security concerns over what the once-powerful Ampatuan clan could still do if the verdict is not favorable for them.
— Tempo

Ombudsman on Duterte’s SALN: I have duty to protect rights of gov’t execs, employees
Ombudsman Samuel Martires has invoked his duty to protect the rights and welfare of government officials and employees amid calls for his office to release a copy of President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
— GMA Network

 

Feature photo Philippine News Agency

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo focuses on International Migrants Day, December 18.

 

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).

 

 

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Philippines morning news roundup is the most comprehensive hand-curated selection of Philippines English language news headlines published. Each weekday we scour hundreds of local and international news sites and websites to find the most recent Philippines English language news today.

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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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