Philippines morning news for February 21

Philippines morning news for February 21

Philippines morning news

3 more Filipinos in Japan cruise ship infected with novel coronavirus – DFA
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that 3 more Filipinos who were onboard the Japanese cruise ship M/V Diamond Princess were infected with the novel coronavirus.
— Rappler

500 Pinoys onboard Diamond Princess repatriated Sunday
The Department of Health yesterday announced that Filipinos onboard the M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan will be repatriated on Sunday.
— Tempo

Foreign investments rise to P390B
Foreign investments approved by the government’s seven investment promotion agencies climbed 112.8 percent in 2019 to P390.11 billion from P183.35 billion in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
— Manilastandard.net

‘Hot money’ flows out of PHL, January B.O.P. in the red–BSP
THE two main dollar flow indicators of the Philippine economy were off to a bad start this year, as the country’s balance of payments (BOP) recorded a deficit while net portfolio investments left the country in January.
— Business Mirror

January BOP deficit highest in 16 months
The country’s balance of payments (BOP) position booked its widest deficit in 16 months, hitting $1.36 billion in January amid the strong outflows of foreign exchange as the national government settled more external obligations.
— The Philippine Star

Davao hog raisers seek lockdown downgrade
Davao Region’s hog farmers appealed to local chief executives to limit their lockdown policy only on areas affected by the African swine fever (ASF).
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte sacks immigration officials, employees over POGO bribery scheme
President Rodrigo Duterte has sacked all officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) allegedly involved in a bribery scheme that allowed the illegal entry of Chinese workers of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday afternoon, February 20.
— Rappler

Senate concurrence needed before treaty abrogation, law experts say
Law experts expressed belief Thursday the concurrence of the Senate is necessary before an international treaty or agreement could be abrogated.
— GMA Network

Philippines turns to tech to help protect its overseas workers from abuse, exploitation
Ms Marina Sarno, 43, looks after her 5-year-old grandson while enticing customers to look through her 1 sq m booth in one of the Philippines’ most famous bazaars.
— CNA

Cayetano: Illegal for Senate to hold ABS-CBN franchise hearing ahead of House
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said it is unconstitutional for the Senate to deliberate on the bills renewing ABS-CBN’s franchise without waiting for the House of Representatives.
— Rappler

DBM studying ‘realignments’ before releasing P84 billion in GAA
MALACAÑANG on Thursday gave assurances the government will still release the P84 billion which is currently being withheld by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), subject to the necessary “protocol.”
— Business Mirror

Philippines open to FTA, higher GSP+ with EU
The Philippines remains interested in having a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) and increasing utilization of the trade preference program Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) despite concerns raised by the trade bloc on the country’s human rights and workers’ welfare situation.
— The Philippine Star

Senate okays updated anti-terrorism law
Senators approved on second reading last Wednesday an updated anti-terrorism law adhering to regional and international standards.
— Business Mirror

House bill seeks 20% fare discount for teachers
A proposal is being pushed at the House of Representatives to provide teachers with a 20% discount on regular domestic fares in public transportation utilities.
— GMA Network

‘Unconstitutional’ to let foreigners own public utilities – opposition lawmakers
Opposition lawmakers slammed a soon-to-be approved House bill that would allow foreigners to gain full ownership of public utilities like telecommunication and transportation companies in the country.
— Rappler

School, off-campus activities resume Feb. 24, says DepEd
National and regional events involving learners and teachers as well as other off-campus activities may resume on Monday after the Department of Education lifted their temporarily suspension due to the threat of novel coronavirus.
— Tempo

Duterte mulls lecturing on criminal law after term ends
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night said he may devote his time giving lectures on criminal law and other procedures to police officers after his term ends in 2022.
— Philippine News Agency

Recruitment firms, not PhilHealth, scammed OFWs: Morales
Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales on Thursday said liaison officers of recruitment agencies issued fake PhilHealth receipts to a number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
— Philippine News Agency

Briones calls out gaps in curriculum for teachers
Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Thursday identified the curriculum for teachers as one of the gaps in the education system.
— GMA Network

NCRPO chief denies Muslim profiling allegations
The chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) denied on Thursday allegations that the police were profiling Muslim students across Metro Manila.
— GMA Network

Antique police intensifies traffic laws implementation
Strict implementation of traffic laws is being adopted in the province of Antique as part of upholding public road safety measures.
— Philippine Information Agency

Public Service Act is constitutional, Salceda says
The main proponent of the Public Service bill stood firm that the measure adheres to the 1987 Constitution and would break the monopoly in certain industries for the good of the public.
— GMA Network

Duterte says he ‘loves’ immigration chief Morente amid POGO bribery mess
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday evening, February 20, expressed fondness for Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente, even as the Senate investigates a scandal involving immigration officers who allegedly took bribes to let illegal Chinese workers into the country.
— Rappler

Pastillas scheme rates higher for Chinese fugitives — whistleblower
The Immigration officer who blew the whistle on the “pastillas” scheme that allows the entry of Chinese nationals into the Philippines for a fee also bared on Thursday that rates are higher for fugitives seeking to enter the country.
— GMA Network

QC court arraigns Reds-linked group exec on perjury raps
The Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) on Thursday began hearing the perjury complaint filed by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. against an official of a group which allegedly has links to the communist movement.
— Philippine News Agency

2 minors die in grenade explosion in Dipolog City
A 5-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy died in an explosion the police believed to be caused by a rifle grenade in Barangay Sicayab, Dipolog City, at around 9:30 am Thursday, February 20.
— Rappler

DOJ opinion on ABS-CBN franchise extension out next week
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said his office may issue a legal opinion before the end of this month on whether broadcast firm ABS-CBN may be granted provisional authority pending renewal of its legislative franchise.
— Philippine News Agency

Court sentences 3 women in Cebu for livestreaming sex abuse
A court in Lapu-Lapu City on Wednesday, February 19, sentenced 3 women for livestreaming the sexual abuse of minors.
— Rappler

House to seek arrangement with NTC to keep ABS-CBN on air –Cayetano
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday assured that ABS-CBN will not shut down when its franchise expires on March 30 as Congress will have an arrangement with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to keep the broadcast giant operating.
— GMA Network

Majority of immigration officers part of ‘pastillas scheme’ – BI whistleblower
A whistleblower on Thursday, February 20, said that majority of immigration officers are already part of the pastillas scheme or the modus in airports allowing Chinese workers of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) to enter the country seamlessly.
— Rappler

Can Duterte order PH withdrawal from UNCLOS? ‘Theoretically, yes,’ says DFA
After President Rodrigo Duterte unilaterally ordered the termination of the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, he can also – in theory – direct the withdrawal of the Philippines from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) without Senate concurrence, a Department of Foreign Affairs official said on Thursday, February 20.
— Rappler

Philippines: Free senator and end attacks on human rights defenders
Philippine authorities should immediately release Senator Leila de Lima, who has been detained for three years, and drop the politically motivated charges against her, Amnesty International, FORUM-ASIA, and Human Rights Watch said today.
— Amnesty International

Dela Rosa ‘regrets’ US visa cancellation but bears ‘no ill will’
SEN. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa regretted the cancellation of his United States (US) visa and consequently, the loss of a long relationship but maintained that he had “no ill feelings against the American government”.
— Manila Times

FALSE: Photo of ‘Chinese illegal fishing in West Philippine Sea’
Claim: At least two Facebook accounts posted a photo showing tons of mackerel caught by a large net from a fishing vessel.
— Rappler

DepEd lifts suspension on off-campus events
THE Department of Education (DepEd) announced that all national, regional, and off-campus activities which were suspended due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) may resume starting on February 24.
— Manila Times

Cebu Pacific lowers fares as coronavirus hits tourism
Budget airline Cebu Pacific reduced fares across 70 domestic destinations, as tourism continues to take a hit from the spread of the novel coronavirus .
— Rappler

Megawide P5-B corporate notes facility 1.5X oversubscribed
Diversified engineering and infrastructure conglomerate Megawide Construction Corporation Thursday signed a PHP5-billion corporate note (CN) facility, the proceeds of which it will use to retire maturing debt obligation, fund growth projects, and for general corporate purposes.
— Philippine News Agency

GenSan seeks for more time to rid highways of tricycles
The city government will need some time before it can fully comply with the ban against tricycles — the city’s main mode of public transportation — on national roads.
— Philippine News Agency

Lawyer asks SC to hold Koko Pimentel ineligible for current term
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to declare Senator Aquilino Koko Pimentel III ineligible for his current term of office.
— GMA Network

Cebu to remain richest province
Cebu is expected to remain the richest province after it noted a 400 percent increase in its total assets.
— Tempo

DOJ asked to weigh in if ABS-CBN can continue operating after March 30
The Department of Justice (DOJ) was asked to weigh in on whether ABS-CBN can continue operating after its franchise lapses on March 30 and congressional hearings are still pending.
— Rappler

Lives in danger as red-tagging campaign intensifies
The bare concrete wall in front of a chapel made the scribbled accusation against the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) as brazen as can be.
— Rappler

Guevarra: Killing of Santos “very likely” connected to GCTA issue
The killing of Bureau of Corrections legal officer Fredric Santos is “very likely” connected to the Good Conduct Time Allowance controversy.
— Eagle News

Ilocos Norte jail gives inmates more chances to reform
The Ilocos Norte Provincial Jail (INPJ) is providing more opportunities for inmates to change their lives for the better.
— Philippine News Agency

Ernie Gawilan first Filipino to qualify for Tokyo Paralympics
Ernie Gawilan emerged as the first Filipino to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics following his record-setting performance in the Asian Para Games in Indonesia last year.
— Rappler

Filipino Casimero enhances resumé with big Inoue fight
FILIPINO world boxing champion John Riel “Quadro Alas” Casimero is no stranger to high-stakes fights but undoubtedly his unification bantamweight title clash with Japanese star “Monster” Naoya Inoue enhances his resumé further.
— BusinessWorld

 

 

Feature photo Zuellig Family Foundation

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo focuses on International Mother Language Day, February 21.

 

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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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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