Philippines morning news for March 20

Philippines morning news for March 20

Philippines morning newsPHL posts BOP surplus of $467 million in February
THE Philippine economy continued to earn dollars in February due mainly to gains from the foreign-exchange operations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the government reported on Tuesday.
— Business Mirror

Budget utilization averages 83% in first two months
CASH usage by government agencies rose to 83% in the first two months of 2019, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
— BusinessWorld Online

5 foreign firms, consortium of local banks eye Hanjin rehab
At least five foreign companies are eyeing Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Philippines at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as “white knights” after the Korean shipbuilder declared bankruptcy in January.
— Business Mirror

Withdrawal won’t stop International Criminal Court’s examination of Philippines
The International Criminal Court (ICC)’s preliminary examination into the situation in the Philippines will continue because the Court retains its jurisdiction over crimes committed in the context of the war on drugs while it was still a member and even after its withdrawal from the Rome Statute became effective last Sunday, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced yesterday.
— The Philippine Star

Bad debts outpace total bank loans’ rise
SOURED DEBTS held by Philippine banks rose in 2018 to outpace the growth in total loans at a time of higher interest rates and rising commodity prices.
— BusinessWorld Online

Trade data discrepancy worsens in 2018
The discrepancy in the trade data recorded by the Philippines as against figures reported by its trading partners worsened in 2018 due to lapses in the collection of export data, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
— The Philippine Star

Losses from El Niño now P1.3 billion
DAMAGE and losses from El Niño have now reached P1.33 billion, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.
— Business Mirror

ASEAN, local courts capable of doing ICC’s job in protecting human rights – Tolentino
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the country’s own judiciary are capable of taking over the role of the International Criminal Courts in putting before the bar of justice governments committing grave human rights abuses.
— Manila Bulletin

Philippines rejects Go-Jek appeal against licence ban
Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek lost an appeal on Tuesday against the Philippines’ decision to refuse to grant it a licence due to its failure to meet local ownership criteria, in a major blow to its Southeast Asia expansion plans.
— Bangkok Post

Vietnam says cement exports to PHL meet demand that cannot be filled by local producers
VIETNAM fired a warning shot against Philippine moves to impose temporary duties on its cement products, reminding Manila that free trade is the prevailing trend in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and that any such duties must follow World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
— BusinessWorld Online

Government-telco partnership seen to fast-track common tower rollout
After linking up with tower firms, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) seeks to partner with telcos to fast track the rollout of the government’s common tower initiative.
— Manila Bulletin

Filipino professionals experience best work-life balance in SEA, says
Filipinos have some of the best experiences of work-life balance in Southeast Asia, according to a new study by recruitment portal
— Human Resources

Philippine nickel industry eyes roadmap to improve competitiveness
The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) is eyeing a roadmap that would boost the production of minerals, amid the ongoing policy changes affecting the mining industry.
— Rappler

Law abolishing Road Board signed
President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed the law abolishing the graft-ridden Road Board.
— CNN Philippines

Thai bets try to end Solaire PH Open jinx
An 11-player Thai crew gears up for the Solaire Philippine Open next month, all aiming to finally break the long spell and nail the elusive crown in the country’s premier championship at the dreaded The Country Club in Laguna.

Foreign delegation probing lawyer killings in PH claims heavy surveillance
The international delegation of lawyers who recently visited the Philippines to investigate the killings of lawyers, prosecutors, and judges claimed they experienced heavy surveillance during their visit.
— Rappler

MWSS thumbs down Kaliwa Dam dev’t offer by Japanese
The proposal of Osaka-based Global Utility Development Corporation Ltd. (GUDC) to build an alternative dam to the controversial Kaliwa Dam will no longer be considered by this administration, a top official of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said.
— Manila Bulletin

68% of businesses see extended maternity leave affecting hiring decisions
THE new law on maternity leave will affect management decisions in hiring women, as it is seen to take a toll on the productivity of businesses, according to a study by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop).
— Business Mirror

BPI Family targets to release P60B in home loans
BPI Family Savings Bank aims to release about P60 billion in home loans this year. During a roundtable with the media in Makati City on Tuesday, the lender’s retail lending group chief Dennis Fronda said the amount was higher than the P40 billion released in 2018.
— The Manila Times

PHL, Vietnam accord nixes arrest, punishment for South China Sea poachers
PHILIPPINES and Vietnamese defense officials have forged what observers described as a “rare” and unwritten agreement that eliminates “headaches” in arresting fishermen caught fishing in each country’s disputed territorial waters in the South China Sea: The fishermen will just be simply sent back home.
— Business Mirror

Mainland Chinese overtake OFWs as top buyers in Philippine residential market — report
Buyers from mainland China had dominated residential sales in the Philippines amid improving ties between Manila and Beijing, real estate services firm Leechiu Property Consultants said.
— The Philippine Star

‘Rice farmers remain poor due to government’s bad policies’
The country’s rice farmers will not become poorer because of the implementation of the rice trade liberalization law, or Republic Act 11203, which converted caps on imports into tariffs, according to the Kapisanan ng Magsasaka, Mangingisda at Manggagawa ng Pilipinas.
— Business Mirror

Chedeng weakens to tropical depression after landfall over Malita
TROPICAL DEPRESSION Chedeng weakened into a low pressure area after making landfall over Malita in Davao Occidental on Tuesday morning, but “scattered to at times widespread moderate to heavy rains” continued to pour over parts of Mindanao for the rest of the day.
— BusinessWorld Online

P1 billion housing project for Bataan fire victims eyed
The National Housing Authority (NHA) will construct houses worth P1 billion for at least 1,089 families who lost their homes in a fire that hit Sitio Depensa, Barangay Capunitan in this town on Jan. 29.
— The Philippine Star

Hanjin shipyard eyed as multi-purpose facility
International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) of ports tycoon Enrique Razon intends to transform the Hanjin shipyard in Subic Bay into a multi-purpose facility should it take over the facilities of the South Korean shipbuilder.
— The Philippine Star

Contribution hike to start April – SSS
Higher Social Security System (SSS) contribution rates will be implemented starting next month, the state-run pension fund announced on Tuesday.
— The Manila Times

PIDS urges government to revisit taxes on financial services
State-run Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) is urging the government to revisit the imposition of taxes on the financial services sector under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, noting that increased friction costs may discourage investments.
— The Philippine Star

SKorea donates wheelchairs to Filipino disabled
United Korean Community Association in the Philippines (UKCA) and Sorok Uni Foundation, Inc. (SUFI), will host Wheelchair Donation Ceremony sponsored by Community Chest of Korea, taking place at Philippine-Korea Friendship Center, Taguig, Manila Philippines on March 28, 2019.
— The Manila Times

Duterte renews Philippine Broadcasting Corp. franchise
President Rodrigo Duterte has renewed the franchise of Philippine Broadcasting Corporation. Under Republic Act 11240 signed by Duterte on March 8, the PBC franchise was extended to 25 years.
— Eagle News

PAGASA: “Full-blown weak El Niño” expected this month
Expect a”full-blown weak El Nino” this month, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said on Tuesday, March 19
— Eagle News

Palace ‘concerned’ over budget impasse but insists on waiting
Malacañang on Tuesday expressed concern anew over the ongoing budget impasse on the proposed PHP3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 but insisted on waiting for the two chambers of Congress to settle their differences.
— Philippine News Agency

Entire Mindanao declared hotspot
THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday declared the entire Mindanao as an election hotspot, citing armed threats and election-related violence in the area.
— BusinessWorld Online

DoH to include Japanese Encephalitis vaccine in immunization program
THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) announced on Tuesday that it will now include vaccines for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in its immunization program, beginning in regions with the most number of reported cases last year.
— BusinessWorld Online

Duterte seeks Singapore’s help in addressing water supply issues
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday sought Singapore’s expertise in the desalination process amid the water supply crisis gripping parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province.
— GMA News

Stricter anti-trafficking measures soon at NAIA, other airports
A more stringent and expanded mechanism to prevent human trafficking will be implemented very soon at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports, Immigration Port Operations Division chief, Grifton Medina, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Gatchalian: Road Board abolition to streamline bureaucracy
The abolition of the graft-ridden Road Board will “streamline our bureaucracy and safeguard against corruption,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Tuesday.

DTI to business owners: Make workplace safer, healthier
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Pangasinan has called on all business owners in the province to make their workplaces safer and healthier to protect workers from all hazards in their work environment.
— Philippine Information Agency

Price of palay down as gov’t projects lower Q1 yield
MANILA, Philippines – The average farmgate price for palay, or unhusked rice, dropped as the 1st quarter nears its end, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
— Rappler

Government hospitals recall operational adjustments made amid water shortage
Government-run Rizal Medical Center (RMC) and National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) were forced to adjust their operations during the water supply shortage in Metro Manila last week, officials told a Senate panel Tuesday.
— Philippine Star

Japan firm proposal on Kaliwa Dam up to PRRD’s judgment call
Malacanang on Tuesday said the alternative proposal reportedly offered by a Japanese company to build the Kaliwa Dam project will be left to the judgment call of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
— Philippine News Agency

Lorenzana debunks reports of growing IS presence in PHL
DEFENSE SECRETARY Delfin N. Lorenzana debunked recent reports that a hundred Islamic State members are now in the country with the number growing as the extremist group loses territories in Iraq and Syria following intensified operations by US-backed forces.
— BusinessWorld Online

Manila Water faces sanctions – MWSS
The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is now looking at “penalizing” Manila Water Company, Inc. over the water crisis in several cities of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
— Tempo

DTI to launch 2nd OTOP hub in Pangasinan town
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will launch its second One Town One Product (OTOP) Philippine Hub on April 12 located at the Binmaley Museum in this town to showcase and promote the best local products of the province.
— Philippine Information Agency

Malasakit Center offers free hospitalization
The Malasakit Center, launched on March 18, 2019 at the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital (NSPH) located in the capital town of Catarman, offers free hospitalization and medicines to patients confined at the said hospital.
— Philippine Information Agency

Manila Water says customers will “now have longer hours of water availability”
Manila Water announced on Tuesday, March 19, that its customers will “now have longer hours of water availability daily as compared to last week.”
— Eagle News

‘State-sanctioned’ lawyer killings? Show proof, DOJ chief tells foreign panel
Without credible evidence, a foreign delegation’s finding that the killings of Philippine lawyers may be state-sanctioned is preposterous and reckless, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.
— GMA News

Lorenzana on illegal Vietnamese fishermen: Don’t arrest them; send them home
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana would rather go soft on Vietnamese nationals illegally fishing in Philippine waters, saying the Philippine government should just let them go back home than arrest them.
— GMA News

NPA continues to suffer setbacks: Eastmincom
The communist New People’s Army (NPA) continues to suffer setbacks in areas under the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) during the first quarter of the year, an official said.
— Philippine News Agency

PAL announces terminal transfer of Int’l flights
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced Tuesday it will transfer some of its international flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 to Terminal 1.
— Philippine News Agency

Air Force gets P2.5B worth of helicopter spare parts, equipment from Japan
THE JAPANESE government has donated spare parts and maintenance equipment worth P2.5 billion for the helicopters of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
— BusinessWorld Online

MRT3 to be closed during Holy Week 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) will be closed for the entire Holy Week due to maintenance and rehabilitation works.
— Rappler

Manila Water customers affected by water shortage may expect “adjustments” in their water bills
Customers of Manila Water who were affected by the recent water shortage may expect “adjustments” in their water bills.
— Eagle News

LTO: Decals an option in ‘Doble Plaka’ motorcycle law
Motorcycle riders might not be required to install metal license plates in front of their motorcycles, a requirement under the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act that riders have said pose a safety risk.
— The Philippine Star

2 schools get 100% passing rate in MedTech board exam
Two universities garnered a 100-percent passing rate in the March 2019 Medical Technologist (MedTech) Licensure Exam, results from the the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) showed.

Ilocos Region pastors helping in PNP internal cleansing
Some 300 Christian church pastors and elders have volunteered to work with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the revitalized internal cleansing among its ranks through the Bless our Cops (BOC) project of the Christian Officers Reform of the Police Service (CORPS) movement.
— Philippine News Agency


Feature photo Yahoo! Philippines

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo acknowledges World Water Day, March 22.


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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