- President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to name this month the 21 persons who will comprise the new and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is at the same time awaiting the resumption of formal talks with government soon and also looking forward to the appointment of BTC members, as this could pave the way for the crafting of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law.
- Meanwhile, President Duterte sees a loophole in the current Constitution that is supposed to have safeguards against the declaration of martial law in the country. He believes a sitting president may decide on his own if the findings of the legislature and the judiciary about martial law declaration contradict each other. There are provisions stipulating that martial law declaration is subject to review by both Congress and the Supreme Court, but Duterte said this could lead to a crisis if they don't agree with each other.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday expresses condolences to President Duterte over the casualties and damage due to Typhoon Nina. The Chinese Embassy in Manila said that Xi sent to Duterte his condolences which also extends to those affected by the typhoon. Over 5.1 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure was incurred by Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Bicol, according to the latest NDRRMC report.
-The Department of Labor and Employment reported that electricians and other construction workers would be highly in demand in the next five years. DOLE's Bureau of Local Employment director Dominique Tutay said the country is not producing a sufficient number of skilled construction workers and noted that of the 80,000 construction workers, only 24,000 are actively looking for employment.
- An assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a crowded nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations, killing at least 39 people and hurt less than 70 others in what the province's governor described as a terror attack. The attacker, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club at around 1:45 AM yesterday before entering and firing on people partying inside.
- The new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres began his new stint and he may have difficulty gaining cooperation from the new US administration to be led by Donald Trump. Guterres says he plans to serve the most vulnerable and pledges to tackle issues such as poverty, women's rights, and refugees.
- The Islamic State militant group still maintains its fighting capability despite having lost control of large areas in Iraq and Syria. Relevant countries are coordinating efforts to slash their financial sources and keep the fighters isolated.
- Tyrus Wong, the man behind the artwork that inspired the Walt Disney animation film Bambi died in his California home on December 30th. He was 106. Wong was born in a farm village in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong in 1910. He emigrated to the United States with his father when he was nine. After studying art at a California college, he took a job with Walt Disney in 1938.