World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
13 February 2020

'THANK YOU, NEXT': TRUMP FINE WITH ENDING DEFENSE PACT WITH PHILIPPINES

MANILA - Contrary to his Defense chief's earlier remarks, US President
Donald Trump admitted that he does not mind the Philippines terminating its
Visiting Forces Agreement with the US.
Manila announced its decision Tuesday -- a move the US embassy in the
Philippines called a "serious step" -- touching off a six-month countdown to
the end of the deal.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper earlier said the decision of the Philippines
to end the defense pact was a "move in the wrong direction."
Trump, however, views this move of President Rodrigo Duterte differently.
"I never minded that very much, to be honest," Trump told reporters
Wednesday.
The transcript of his remarks are uploaded on the official website of the
White House.
Noting that the US helped the Philippines in its campaign against
ISIS-inspired militants in Marawi City in 2017, Trump said the two countries
have a "very good relationship there."
"But I - I really don't mind. If they would like to do that, that's fine.
We'll save a lot of money," Trump said.
"You know, my views are different than other people. I view it as, 'Thank
you very much. We save a lot of money,'" he added.
Trump continued to claim that US troops "came in" and "literally,
single-handedly" saved the Philippines from the attacks of terrorists in
Marawi City almost three years ago.
The American president also noted that he has a good relationship with
Duterte.
"And my relationship, as you know, is a very good one with their leader.
And we'll see what happens. They'll have to tell me that," Trump said.
The pact's termination will take effect after 180 days.


PHILIPPINES CHECKS 'RISK' OF LIFTING TAIWAN TRAVEL BAN

MANILA -- The Philippines is checking the "risk" of potentially lifting a
travel ban on Taiwan, imposed to contain a coronavirus outbreak from China,
Manila's health minister said Thursday.
A Philippine inter-agency task force will meet Friday about possibly lifting
the ban, based on the spike of new coronavirus cases in Taiwan and its
protocol for screening travelers from China, Health Secretary Francisco
Duque III said.
This, after authorities received reports of proposals for Taiwan to
retaliate against the ban by scrapping visa-free entry for Filipinos.
"Iyang mga iyan ay atin talagang susuriing maigi para nakakasiguro tayo na
kung mayroon mang risk, hindi ganoon kalaki iyong risk. Baka naman puwedeng
maialis natin doon sa ban ang Taiwan," he told DZMM.
Aside from Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory, Manila banned all
inbound travel from China and its special administrative regions Macau and
Hong Kong.
Taiwan has confirmed 18 cases of the novel coronavirus that has killed at
least 1,100 and infected some 44,000, mostly in China.


16 SENATORS SIGN COMMITTEE REPORT ON LEGALIZING MOTORCYCLE TAXIS

MANILA - Majority of the senators signed a joint committee report on the
bill allowing the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicles.
Sixteen senators signed the report of the Senate's Public Services and Local
Government panels, which recommended the approval of the Motorycles-for-Hire
Act.
The proposed legislation, which seeks to amend a provision of the Land
Transportation and Traffic Code, classifies motorcycle taxis as among the
PUVs regulated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
"We are inching closer to having a law that will make motorcycle taxis a
part of our public transportation system," Poe, head of the Public Services
committee, said.
The bill defines motorcycles-for-hire as any two-wheeled motor vehicle
registered with the Land Transportation Office, which transports passengers
and goods and which may utilize online ride hailing or pre-arranged
transportation platforms.
Motorcycle taxis should weigh less than 1,000 kilograms, be able to travel
faster than 50 kilometers per hour, and have a minimum engine displacement
of 125 cubic centimeters, and a backbone-type built.
This excludes underbone motorcycles, which are common in the Philippines.
The bill would still need to hurdle second and third reading approvals in
the Senate.
The House of Representatives must also pass their version of the proposed
legislation. Bills on motorcycle taxis at the lower chamber remain pending
with the committee on transportation.


TERM DEPOSIT RATES DROP SHARPLY

MANILA - Term deposits rates fell sharply yesterday, dropping below four
percent across the board as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is
expected to further slash key interest rates.
The seven-day term deposits fetched 3.8943 percent at the term deposit
auction facility (TDF), 12.97 basis points lower than last week's 4.0240
percent.
Likewise, the yield of the 14-day term deposits declined by 14.25 basis
points to 3.8772 percent from 4.0197 percent, while the 28-day term deposit
rates dropped by 13.65 basis points to 3.9054 percent from 4.0419 percent.
The last time term deposit rates were below four percent was in August 2018.
BSP Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr. said term deposit rates fell across
the board yesterday after the Monetary Board resumed its easing cycle,
slashing interest rates by 25 basis points last Feb. 6 as a preemptive move
to support market confidence and to provide additional policy support to
ward off the potential spillovers associated with increased external
headwinds including the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
The central bank has slashed interest rates by 100 basis points since May
last year amid the benign inflation environment as well as slower than
expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth.


NBA SCORES FEB 11


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Clippers 37-17    22    32    23    26    103
team logo 76ers 34-21    30    24    27    29    110
SCORING LEADERSK. Leonard LAC
30 PTS, 4 REB, 9 AST
B. Simmons PHI
26 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Bulls 19-36    26    36    20    32    114
team logo Wizards 19-33    36    33    31    26    126
SCORING LEADERSZ. LaVine CHI
41 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST
B. Beal WAS
30 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Spurs 23-31    25    24    30    35    114
team logo Thunder 32-22    14    27    36    29    106
SCORING LEADERSL. Aldridge SA
25 PTS, 14 REB, 3 AST
C. Paul OKC
31 PTS, 2 REB, 7 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Trail Blazers 25-30    36    29    21    31    117
team logo Pelicans 23-31    27    36    41    34    138
SCORING LEADERSD. Lillard POR
20 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST
Z. Williamson NO
31 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Celtics 37-16    19    30    22    34    105
team logo Rockets 34-20    23    24    31    38    116
SCORING LEADERSG. Hayward BOS
20 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST
J. Harden HOU
42 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST

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