(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 21 February 2024) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).


TOP STORIES – Tuesday, 19 December 2023

TODAY’S TOP STORIES (from online and print media monitoring)

19 December 2023, Tuesday, as of 5:00 p.m.

1. National Budget

-2024 budget to be signed into law on Dec. 20; Secret fund issue already settled  

-SC debate over ‘unprogrammed funds’ seen 

-2024 budget has funds for defense of West PH Sea: Romualdez

[Business Mirror, Remate, People’s Journal, GMA News, Abante, Inquirer, Remate, ABS-CBN News, One News, Philstar, Manila Bulletin, Daily Tribune]

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/topstories/nation/891749/marcos-to-sign-2024-budget-on-wednesday-says-ovp-confi-fund-issue-settled/story/

2.  BBM’s visit to Japan

-President back home, brings P14.5B in pledges from Japan

-Marcos pitches revival of PH-Japan youth exchange program

-PH wants defense pact with Japan signed by next year 

-Phl woos Japan, Asean investments in renewable energy

[Manila Standard, CNN Philippines, Daily Tribune, ABS-CBN News, Peoples’ Journal, Remate, CNN PHL, GMA News, Manila Bulletin, Manila Times, Inquirer]

https://globalnation.inquirer.net/224561/marcos-japan-trip-nets-p14-5b-in-fresh-investment-pledges

3. Marcos on finalizing reciprocal access deal with Japan: As soon as possible

[GMA news, PJ, Remate, CNN PHL, Business Mirror, Manila Times, ABS-CBN News, Inquirer]

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/12/18/marcos-kishida-swift-conclusion-raa.html

4. BBM creates office on investment, economic affairs; Go to head body

[Manila Times, Malaya, Business Mirror, GMA News, Manila Standard, Abante Tonite, Rappler]

https://manilastandard.net/news/314400443/marcos-orders-creation-of-investments-economic-affairs-office.html

5. Transport Strike

-Manibela to defy Dec. 31 deadline, says consolidation not needed to modernize jeepneys

-DOTr assures the public enough PUVs amid holiday season despite strikes

-Transport strike disrupts commute in Metro Manila, provinces

-Gov't readies special permits, free rides for possible PUV shortage in Jan: official

-Artes: Gov't ready even for a year of transport strikes

[ABS-CBN News, Inquirer, Rappler, CNN PHL, Philstar, Rappler, Manila Bulletin]

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/18/23/manibela-mounts-another-transport-strike

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1877029/transport-strike-disrupts-commute-in-metro-manila-provinces

6. SMNI issue

-Another damage suit filed vs 2 SMNI hosts

-MTRCB orders 14-day preventive suspension of 2 SMNI shows 

-Suspension of 2 SMNI programs 'long overdue'--Castro

[Inquirer, People’s Journal, GMA News, CNN PHL, Manila Bulletin]

[Manila Standard, Business World, Philstar, ABS-CBN News, CNN PHL, GMA News, Inquirer, Daily Tribune, Rappler, Business Mirror]

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2023/12/19/2319997/mtrcb-suspends-smni-programs-hosted-duterte-badoy-and-celiz

7. COVID-19

-DOH logs 2,725 new cases from Dec. 12–18, 2023, highest weekly tally in 24 weeks

-DOH: Hospital admissions remain low despite uptick in COVID-19 cases

-Huge COVID outbreak unlikely despite case uptick: DOH chief

-Senators probe readiness for disease surge [BM]

- DOH addresses rising number of Covid cases despite vaccination progress

[Manila Times, Inquirer, ABS-CBN News, GMA News, CNN PHL, Business Mirror, Manila Bulletin]]

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/12/18/covid-19-cases-dec-12-to-18.html

8. Election issue

-SC asks Comelec to respond to Smartmatic petition; Comelec will follow SC order

-Miru Systems ‘ineligible’ to bid for 2025 polls—Comelec 

[Philstar, Inquirer, Business Mirror, ABS-CBN News]

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/12/19/supreme-court-comelec-smartmatic-tro.html

10. DSWD's 'Tara Basa' program to expand in Bulacan

- DSWD to expand tutoring program for reading in 2024

[ABS-CBN News, Philstar, CNN PHL, Daily Tribunes]

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/12/18/DSWD-expand-tutoring-reading-2024.html

11. ‘Rushed’ Naia rehab deal to ‘favor’ only 2 bidders; Gadon warns vs rushed NAIA rehab project

[Business Mirror, Manila Times, Manila Standard]

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/12/19/affected-people-kabayan-shear-line-tuesday.html

12. Kabayan aftermath

-Over 86,000 people affected by 'Kabayan,' shear line

-200 Surigao del Sur families evacuate due to Kabayan ‘Kabayan’ sends nearly

-1 in Davao missing as storm Kabayan lashes Mindanao

-After major quake, Kabayan spares Surigao del Sur but aftershocks remain

-Heavy rains from Kabayan displace 7,000 residents in Mindanao [Inquirer]

-PAGASA lifts all wind signals as Kabayan weakens into remnant low

[Rappler, GMA News, Inquirer, Philstar, Manila Standard, CNN PHL, Manila Bulletin]

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2023/12/19/2319977/over-82000-displaced-mindanao-due-kabayan-ndrrmc

13. Pinoy Gaza hostage Pacheco returns home

[Manila Standard, ABS-CBN News, Inquirer, Manila Bulletin]

https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/546238/filipino-held-hostage-by-hamas-finally-arrives-home

© Philippine Information Agency Monitoring Unit