Philippines morning news for January 31

Philippines morning news for January 31

Philippines morning news2019 budget in last-minute trouble at bicameral talks
WEDNESDAY validated expectations of “bloody” bicameral conference committee talks on the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for this year, with no less than the Senate president threatening to withdraw the version of his chamber from the table before lawmakers concerned met again on the spending plan that day.
— BusinessWorld Online

Government debt reaches ₱7.3-T in 2018
The government’s outstanding debt reached ₱7.3 trillion last year, growing by 9.6 percent from ₱6.7 trillion in 2017 amid higher domestic and foreign borrowings.
— CNN Philippines

‘Spending ban exemption to cover P500-billion projects’
THE Executive branch will likely ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to exempt at least P500 billion worth of big-ticket projects from the election spending ban to avoid delays in the government’s massive infrastructure program.
— Business Mirror

Senators opposed to lowering of age of criminal liability see hope in SWS poll results
Senators opposed to the proposed lowering of age of criminal responsibility on Wednesday urged their colleagues to consider the results of a recent survey showing majority of Filipinos want the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) to stay at 15 years old.
— GMA News

Bangladesh to sue Manila bank over US$81 million cyber heist
Bangladesh will file a lawsuit in a court in the United States on Wednesday against a Philippine bank over its role in one of the world’s biggest cyber heists, said the governor of Bangladesh’s central bank.
— South China Morning Post

2 dead, 4 injured in blast at Zamboanga City mosque
An explosion at a mosque in Zamboanga City early Wednesday morning left two people dead and four wounded, News5 reports.
— The Philippine Star

Was the Philippines cathedral bombing a suicide attack?
Two explosions occurred while Mass was being celebrated the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo in Sulu province on Sunday, January 27, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than 100.
— The Defense Post

Philippines urges calm after grenade attack on mosque kills two
Philippine authorities called for calm on Wednesday after a grenade attack on a mosque in a mainly Christian southern province killed two people, just three days after a devastating church bombing shook the restive Mindanao region.
— Reuters

Fire-stricken Bataan town now under state of calamity
The municipal government here on Wednesday placed the town under a state of calamity following a huge fire incident that gutted more than 900 houses, affecting more than a thousand families.
— Philippine News Agency

China invites Duterte to 2nd Belt & Road Forum
China has invited President Duterte to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in April.
— The Philippine Star

Reenacted budget for entire 2019? Bad news for economy
The Philippine economy will greatly suffer if the government runs on a reenacted budget for the entire 2019.
— Rappler

Pertamina eyes $1-B LNG investment in PH
PT Pertamina, the second-largest crude oil producer in Indonesia, expressed interest to take part in the development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the Philippines through a regasification hub project with potential investment of US$1 billion.
— Manila Bulletin

How Washington’s ambiguity in South China Sea puts the Philippine-US alliance at a crossroads
“I announce my separation from the United States,” the tough-talking Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte declared during his first state visit to China. Two years later, the Philippines has formally called for a formal review of its decades-old alliance with the US.
— South China Morning Post

Amnesty Int’l calls on PHL to reject attempts to lower minimum age of criminal responsibility
Amnesty International is urging the Philippine Congress “to reject attempts to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility” as it aired its deep concern at renewed efforts by the Philippine government to lower the minimum age of responsibility from 15 to 12 years old.
— Eagle News

Philippines to expand railway network as key economic policy
The Philippine government is pressing ahead with a plan, dismissed by critics as unrealistic, to expand the national railway network from just 77 kilometers to 1,900 km in three years as the core of its economic stimulus policy.
— ABS-CBN News

If budget stalls, Comelec has P4-billion contingency fund
AS the 2019 budget’s fate still hangs in Congress, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was able to secure a P4-billion contingency to pay the public-school teachers and other volunteers who will serve in the 2019 elections.
— Business Mirror

Hungary extends PHP1.89-M to victims of Jolo explosions
Hungary on Wednesday offered 10 million Hungarian forints or about PHP1.89 million in emergency assistance to the victims of the twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday.
— Philippine News Agency

Davao City Catholic churches ban bags, backpacks after Jolo cathedral blasts
Churchgoers are no longer allowed to bring in bags, backpacks, knapsacks, boxes, cartons and similar items inside Catholic churches in Davao City. This was announced by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles in an advisory on Tuesday.

DSWD, AFP to build 105 housing units in Zambales
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 3 (Central Luzon) has collaborated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in implementing a core assistance shelter project.
— Philippine News Agency

Banks swamp BSP’s long-term deposit offering
LOCAL banks flocked to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’s (BSP) long-term deposit offering on Wednesday, but showed little interest in its short- and medium-term counterparts.
— Business Mirror

Gov’t to hold jobs fair for displaced Hanjin workers
The ‘Build, Build, Build’ team, composed of several government agencies involved in the infrastructure program, is set to hold a job fair on February 9 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to provide employment to displaced workers of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC Phil.)
— Philippine News Agency

Senate Committee on Public Services considers granting Mislatel a franchise
The Senate Committee on Public Services is considering granting the Mindanao Islamic Telephone (Mislatel) consortium the franchise that will allow them to operate as the third telecommunications player in the country.
— Manila Bulletin

Lower retirement age to cut fund life of GSIS by 12 years
State-run pension fund Government Service Insurance System warned Wednesday that a proposal in Congress to cut the retirement age of government workers from the current 60 years old to 56 could exacerbate unemployment rate and reduce the fund’s life by 12 years.

China puts up ‘rescue center’ in West Philippine Sea
China has established a “maritime rescue center” in the West Philippine Sea, state-run media said Tuesday.
— CNN Philippines

NFA says over half of rice import orders have arrived as of Jan. 29
THE National Food Authority (NFA) said 258,854.80 metric tons (MT) or about 53.77% of the 500,000 MT of rice contracted for import has arrived in the Philippines as of Jan. 29.
— BusinessWorld Online

Department of Energy sees lower natural gas output
The country is expected to see lower natural gas production and demand this year due to Malampaya shutdown and maintenance activities of gas-fired power plants, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.
— The Philippine Star

QC gov’t orders 20% discount in restaurants for solo parents
Solo parents can now enjoy meals in Quezon City restaurants for a cheaper price.
— Rappler

Senate okays proposed Magna Carta of the Poor
The Senate has approved on third and final reading the proposed Magna Carta of the Poor, said Senator Loren Legarda, principal author of the bill.

Jolo Bombing Suspects Exposed in Newly Released CCTV Footage
Newly Released CCTV Footage Exposes Jolo Bombing Suspects Denotating Explosives The alleged Jolo bombing suspects detonating the bomb were exposed in a CCTV footage recently released by the authorities.
— Philippine News

Reds remain open to peace talks – Joma
Exiled top communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said the Maoist-inspired rebels would always remain open to negotiating for peace with the government even if President Duterte would repeatedly reject it.

Senate aspirant Javellana says cleanup drive not enough to save Manila Bay
Senate aspirant RJ Javellana on Wednesday said cleanup drives will not be enough to rehabilitate Manila Bay as they do not address the root cause of the problem — the absence of a proper sewerage and sanitation system in Metro Manila.
— GMA News

Duterte wants faster resolution of land conversion cases
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Cabinet to work on streamlining and fast-tracking procedures to accelerate land conversion cases.
— GMA News

COA clueless on DBM contractuals bidding out projects
The Commission on Audit (COA) did not have any idea that an obscure office in the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) with “contractual” employees had bid out about P198 billion in government projects that encroached on the mandate of various agencies.
— The Philippine Star

House passes bill aiming to legalize motorcycles as public mode of transport on second reading
The House of Representatives on Wednesday, Jan. 30, passed on second reading a bill that aims to legalize motorcycles as public utility vehicles.
— Eagle News

Suspect in Jolo blasts elude arrest but aide killed in clash with troops in Sulu
A suspect behind the Jolo Cathedral blasts eluded arrest but his aide was killed in an armed confrontation in Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday evening.
— The Manila Times

LTFRB orders tight security measures in transport terminals
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has directed public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to implement stricter security measures in terminals following the deadly twin blasts in Jolo, Sulu over the weekend.
— Philippine News Agency

Kin of 2 soldiers killed in Jolo blast plead for justice
The families of two soldiers who were killed in the deadly church blasts in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday, cried for justice as the Philippine flag-draped coffins of the victims arrived at the Cauayan airport here on board a C-130 plane, Tuesday afternoon.
— Philippine News Agency

Two new China carriers start flights from Cebu airport
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), has welcomed two new Chinese carriers that recently launched direct flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai.
— The Philippine Star

11 senators sign panel report to lower criminal responsibility age to 12
Senator Richard Gordon said he would present on Monday the committee report proposing the lowering of minimum age of criminal responsibility to 12 from the present 15.
— GMA News

PVO inspects slaughterhouses
The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO)-Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division inspected slaughterhouses all over the province.
— Philippine Information Agency

Davao City to install cameras to monitor rise in water level
The local government will mount cameras in six river channels to monitor water levels during heavy rainfall.
— Philippine News Agency

‘Probe $85-million LandBank loan to Hanjin’
By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas and Bianca Cuaresma THE Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PhilMaize) has formally written to President Duterte urging him to investigate the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) for extending a loan of $85 million to South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil).
— Business Mirror

Duterte to public: Don’t be afraid of vaccines
President Duterte yesterday urged parents not to fear vaccines as he expressed concern about the decrease in immunization coverage among children because of the Dengvaxia fiasco.
— The Philippine Star

Sulfur upwelling causes fish kill in Talisay, Batangas
A lake in Talisay, Batangas teemed with dead fishes after the occurrence of a phenomenon called sulfur upwelling.
— GMA News

PNP Caraga’s outreach program reaches far-flung community
Several free services from the government have reached the far-flung area of Brgy. Taod-oy, Magallanes, Agusan del Norte though the community outreach program of Police Regional Office 13 Tuesday.
— Philippine Information Agency

Cabadbaran City wins best in health services
The City of Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte has been awarded as the Best Performing City besting five other cities in Caraga Region.
— Philippine Information Agency

PDEA files raps vs parents of minors in drug den
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has filed criminal complaints against parents of minor drug suspects caught in a drug raid in Navotas.

NDF consultant shot dead in Nueva Vizcaya
ARITAO, Nueva Vizcaya: A high profile consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) was shot dead inside a bus during a stopover here on Wednesday at about 2:30 a.m.
— The Manila Times

May 2019 polls, govt workers salary hike to push through
The national and local elections slated in May and the scheduled salary hike of government workers this year under the Salary Standardization Law will push through, whether or not the proposed 2019 national budget is enacted.
— ABS-CBN News

Term deposits fetch higher rates
Term deposit rates rose across the board at yesterday’s auction as the shorter tenor was undersubscribed due to the celebration of the Chinese New Year next week.
— The Philippine Star

NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 set to open in few weeks –DPWH chief
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to open the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Segment 10 which aims to ease traffic in Metro Manila.
— GMA News

Malaysian company signs deal to construct 15,000 cell sites
The Department of Information and Communications Technology signed an agreement with RT Telecom Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia to construct at least 15,000 cell sites in the Philippines for more than five years.

PHL looks to Israeli firms for agriculture technology, investment
THE Philippines is looking to tap Israeli expertise and investment to develop the agriculture sector, the Department of Agriculture said.
— BusinessWorld Online

PAGASA: Dry spell to hit Luzon due to developing El Niño
A dry spell may be experienced in Luzon in the first quarter of the year due to a developing El Niño, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned the public.
— The Philippine Star

IBM tells PHL firms to invest in tech-savvy work force
FROM AI to blockchain, conversations on adopting new technologies have been ongoing these past few years, with firms both private and public scrambling to future-proof their systems. But the reality is most firms are nowhere near ready for the future of work.
— BusinessWorld Online


Feature photo Asian Development Bank


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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