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NEDA body endorsing MRT-3 rehab deal to Duterte for approval

USERS of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) can expect relatively trouble-free commuting along this railway by 2021, under the timetable of a rehabilitation project that edged closer to final approval late this week.

Driver-only ban on EDSA suspended but dry run to continue

THE Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has suspended the planned implementation of the “driver-only” ban on EDSA on August 23, following a Senate resolution calling for its suspension.

Hold-departure order issued against alleged drug lord

THE Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) issued on Friday a hold-departure order (HDO) against alleged drug lord Peter Go Lim.

Groundbreaking on Marawi’s rehabilitation moved to September

TASK Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) on Friday moved its groundbreaking on Marawi City’s rehabilitation from August to September, as it finalizes its deal with developer Power China.

Senate inquiry sought on PhilHealth’s P4.75B loss

SENATOR Leila M. De Lima has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the P4.75 billion net loss of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in 2017 as reported by the Commission on Audit (CoA).

Grab initiates talks on driver-only EDSA ban

GRAB PHILIPPINES (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.) said it is holding discussions with authorities regarding the impact of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) traffic scheme, which prohibits driver-only vehicles from plying main thoroughfare EDSA during peak hours, to its ride-hailing business.

Executive, House break budget deadlock

TALKS in Malacañan Palace last Tuesday between President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo broke the deadlock over the Executive’s proposed national budget for next year, with a leader in the House of Representatives saying the chamber will likely resume deliberations and should be able to meet the deadline for the spending plan’s approval.

Duterte wants ‘likes’ of Marcos, Escudero as his successor

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday said once he steps down, he prefers the “likes” of Senator Francis Joseph G. Escudero or former senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. as his successor over his constitutional successor Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo.

Executive-House budget impasse elevated to Duterte and Arroyo

IT may take a sitting President and a former president-turned Speaker to break the current deadlock between the Executive and the House of Representatives over the P3.757-trillion national spending plan proposed for next year.

Rice tariff bill hurdles House on third reading

THE House of Representatives passed on third and final reading on Tuesday House Bill 7735, or the “Revised Agricultural Tariffication Act.”

Tax amnesty package stalls in committee on LGU worries

COMMITTEE approval for Package 1B of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law has stalled over questions about who controls the proceeds when amnesties are declared on local taxes.

DoJ seeks hold order on suspected drug trader Lim

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice(DoJ) has filed for a hold departure order (HDO) against businessman Peter Go Lim to prevent him from leaving the country amid his recent cases relating to the illegal drug trade.

DBM studies prospect of reenacted 2019 budget

THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) has raised the possibility of having a reenacted budget for 2019 in order to break the impasse with lawmakers on a new spending plan that will allocate funds only for projects or tasks that can be completed within next year.

Arroyo files bill proposing water, irrigation dep’t

SPEAKER Gloria M. Arroyo has filed a bill creating a new government office to rationalize the country’s water, irrigation, sewage and sanitation systems.

Analysts: LP still stands a chance in Duterte’s milieu

ANALYSTS were sought for comment to assess the opposition Liberal Party’s (LP) standing, amid the political milieu currently dominated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, and ahead of the crossroads that is next year’s midterm elections.

Rice tariff bill hurdles House on second reading

THE House of Representatives, voting viva voce, passed on second reading the rice tariff bill, which hopes to broaden rice imports and use the tariffs to fund measures to improve competitiveness in the rice industry.

Arroyo files resolution on separate voting in constituent assembly

HOUSE SPEAKER Gloria M. Arroyo on Monday filed House Resolution No. 2056 expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that it is taking the Senate’s position on holding a separate vote when Congress convenes into a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Analysts weigh unfolding alignments between PDP-Laban and Sara Duterte’s party

WHERE stands the PDP-Laban, amid the political recruitments to the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) regional party?

Martires stands by Palace order on Carandang

OMBUDSMAN SAMUEL R. Martires said on Monday he has “no choice” but to implement Malacañang’s dismissal order against Overall Deputy Ombudsman (ODO) Melchor Arthur H. Carandang.

Senator seeks clarification on PCOO budget amid controversy over Uson video

SENATORS, members of the Consultative Committee, and even officials of the executive branch criticized on Monday a video pitch on federalism by Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux J. Uson that made rounds in social media over the weekend.

House panel to file new resolution on separate voting in charter...

A COMMITTEE at the House of Representatives plans to file a new resolution, proposing that the two chambers of Congress vote separately when it convenes into a Constituent Assembly (ConAss) in making amendments or revising the 1987 Constitution.

DoJ to consider extradition of Napoles, kin upon request of US...

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Friday said his department will consider extradition, upon request by a US court, of Janet Lim Napoles and five other relatives who have been indicted in the United States in connection with a $20-million money laundering scheme.

Palace: Death penalty up to Senate

MALACAÑANG on Friday said the reimposition of capital punishment is up to the Senate, following the Vatican’s move to declare death penalty as “inadmissible.”

Palace: Carandang’s dismissal up to incoming Ombudsman Martires

MALACAÑANG on Friday urged incoming Ombudsman Samuel R. Martires to “immediately” implement the dismissal order on Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur H. Carandang.

Arroyo assures no zero budget for congressmen

HOUSE Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo on Friday assured there will be no zero budget for lawmakers on her watch.

House panel approves TRAIN 2, hopes to dampen inflation impact

A HOUSE COMMITTEE approved in principle a bill covering the second package of the tax reform program, though its chairman signalled that he will rule out any proposals that would aggravate inflation.

‘No reason’ Bangsamoro can’t match Shenzhen’s economic vibrancy — FEF

RETIRED technocrats have urged the future Bangsamoro Autonomous Region government to manage the region’s economy efficiently along free market lines, and noted the potential for Bangsamoro to someday mirror the economic performance of some of Asia’s most economically vibrant regions.

Arroyo agrees to separate voting by two chambers on charter change

HOUSE Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo has agreed to separate voting when the two chambers of Congress convene into a Constituent Assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Military, police step up security measures in mainland Mindanao after Basilan...

HEIGHTENED SECURITY measures have been activated in various parts of Mindanao following Tuesday’s blast in the island of Basilan that killed 11, including the suspected bomber. In Zamboanga City, the jump-off point to Basilan, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar convened a meeting on Tuesday and ordered all security forces “to tighten all checkpoints at the entry and exit points of the city, including coastal and sea patrols.” Owners of private jetties have also been requested to strengthen security at their facilities. Ms. Salazar also appealed to the public to cooperate with the stricter security rules as well as be vigilant and report suspicious activities in their areas.

Ecozone stakeholders worried TRAIN 2 will drive away FDI

STAKEHOLDERS representing various economic zone constituencies said they are worried about the impact of the government’s plan to reform corporate incentives on foreign direct investment (FDI).

House passes on 3rd reading bill raising BSP capitalization

THE House of Representatives, voting 219-0, on Tuesday approved on third and final reading the bill strengthening the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Malampaya gas reserve disposal options mulled

THE Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) has been urged to step up its efforts in disposing of its reserve of banked gas from Malampaya by 2024.

Andaya is new Majority Leader

CAMARINES SUR Rep. Rolando G. Andaya, Jr., assumed the post of Majority Leader of the House of Representatives (HoR) on Monday.

HRW hits Cebu mayor over human rights statement

“HUMAN RIGHTS applies to everybody,” international advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) reminded Cebu City Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña after his tirade following the recent spate of killings in the city.

House panel confirms receipt of spending plan; budget hearing starts Tuesday

THE House Committee on Appropriations has confirmed that Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo has transmitted the National Expenditure Program (NEP) in time for the budget hearings beginning Tuesday.

Sara Duterte has ‘influence’ on national scene, says Arroyo ally

A LEADING ally of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio “wields a lot of influence..., in the national scene,” when sought for comment about the mayor, following a power struggle in the House last Monday, July 23.

Ally says no conflict in joining Arroyo camp and supporting federal...

MEMBERS of the still-ruling PDP-Laban who plan to join the political alliance of newly elected Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will continue to support charter change despite a ban, in the draft federal charter for their consideration, on party-switching or turncoatism, an ally of Ms. Arroyo said.

Breaking the routine: Will ChaCha now go forth?

AFTER ATTEMPTS by the past administrations to overhaul the 1987 Constitution, is the government’s bid, on President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s watch, toward federalism likely to succeed this time?

Alvarez concedes to new speaker but allies question her election

OUSTED House speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez in a statement on Wednesday conceded to his newly installed successor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom Mr. Alvarez also met that day at the House of Representatives.

House ratifies Bangsamoro Organic Law

THE HOUSE of Representatives (HoR) ratified on Tuesday the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) after one day’s delay by the sudden leadership change in the chamber.

Nationwide Round-Up

Retiring Morales rallies media to OMBUDSMAN CONCHITA Carpio-Morales, in her farewell press conference Tuesday, advised her office and the media to collaborate in keeping watch...

Arroyo takes over as new leader of the House

FORMER PRESIDENT and Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo, within the hour before the 4 p.m. scheduled delivery of the State of the Nation Address (SONA), walked up the Speaker’s rostrum and took an oath, officiated by Ang Kabuhayan Rep. Dennis C. Laogan.

Ouster plot takes its toll on Bangsamoro law

THE THIRD regular session of the 17th Congress opened on Monday amid an ouster plot against House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez, upsetting the anticipated ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Senate to consult House on legislative agenda

CONGRESS BEGINS its Third Regular Session on Monday, with the Senate set to coordinate its priority bills with the House of Representatives, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said on Sunday.

Palace blasts statement on human rights, condemns broadcaster’s killing

MALACAÑANG denounced Friday a statement by Amnesty International Philippines (AIP) that the country has become “a far more dangerous place” on President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s watch.