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  • Pres. Duterte creates FOI exception policy body President Rodrigo Duterte issued a memorandum order creating an inter-agency freedom of information (FOI) exceptions policy committee about 2 years after he signed Executive Order (EO) No. 2 mandating full public disclosure for government offices. Memorandum Circular No. 49 was released by the Palace after the public asked about the President’s true state of health after he underwent medical procedures – colonoscopy and endoscopy – in relation to his Barrett’s disease. Signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in behalf of the President, the memorandum is effective immediately. Pres. Duterte and his former spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the public may only be informed fully about the President’s health once he is classified as “seriously ill.” Under the memorandum, the inter-agency committee is tasked to review the inventory of exceptions under the EO on FOI and “periodically update the list of exceptions to properly reflect any change in existing laws and jurisprudence.”
  • Peso hits fresh 1-month high vs U.S. dollar The peso is on a roll, notching a new best performance against the U.S. dollar in more than a month after it appreciated back to P53-mark that completed its 1-week winning streak. The local currency closed P53.89 to a dollar on Wednesday, 7 centavos stronger than its P53.96 close the previous day. This was the peso's strongest performance against the greenback since it ended trading at P53.88 on September 10. It also marked the 8th straight day the peso appreciated against the dollar. The peso, one of Asia's worst-performing currency this year, has taken a beating together with regional peers like the Indonesian rupiah after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised policy rates 3 times this year. The recent gains of the peso are a welcome reprieve for policymakers scrambling to temper inflation, which hit a near decade-high of 6.7% in September, which is fueling public discontent.

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