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Fourth quarter hunger levels decline, SWS study shows

FILIPINO FAMILIES reporting that they experienced “involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months” fell by 2.8 points to 10.5%, equivalent to about 2.4 million families, according to the fourth quarter Social Weather Survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Arroyo tells Palace budget saga almost over

MALACAÑANG on Thursday said there is no need to apply pressure on Congress to pass the proposed 2019 National Budget because it will be passed in February.

Lorenzana: Funding for Reds a challenge to government

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said funding for the underground communist movement remains a challenge to the government in its objective to end the insurgency.

Sri Lankan leader hails Duterte’s drug war

SRI LANKAN President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s drug war is “an example to the whole world.

Holiday declared for BOL plebiscite

MALACAÑANG has issued Proclamation No. 646 declaring Monday, Jan. 21, a special non-working day in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Isabela City in Basilan, and Cotabato City for the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Tax amnesty bill due at Palace

A TAX amnesty measure was set to be transmitted on Wednesday to the office of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II said.

Duterte, Sri Lanka leader witness signing of 5 agreements

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte and Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday witnessed the signing of five bilateral agreements at Malacañang Palace, including cooperation on defense, agriculture, education, and tourism.

RTC judge appointed to Sandiganbayan

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed Makati City Regional Trial Court Judge Ronald B. Moreno as Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan.

Duterte says dismissed Bacolod police chief a drug lord ‘protector’

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday said that dismissed Bacolod police chief Senior Supt. Francisco B. Ebreo “might not be” in the illegal drug trade, but revealed that he is a protector of a certain drug lord in the city.

Duterte to join campaign for BOL approval

COTABATO CITY — Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim expressed confidence in the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) given the vigorous campaign that various sectors have been conducting in the past weeks.

Palace to look into passport data breach

MALACAÑANG SAID on Monday it will look into the alleged passport data breach, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Presidential Communications Operations Office(PCOO), and the United Graphics Expression Corporation (UGEC).

Sri Lanka leader on state visit to PHL

MALACAÑANG on Monday said the President Maithripala Sirisena of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is scheduled to arrive in Manila today, Jan. 15, for a five-day state visit to the country.

Duterte fires Bacolod City police chief, 4 others

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has fired Senior Supt. Francisco B. Ebreo as Bacolod City police chief and four other officials for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

Duterte tops Pulse Asia trust ratings survey

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte remains the most trusted among the four top national officials, according to Pulse Asia’s December 2018 Nationwide Survey on the performance and trust ratings of key government officials.

Anti-Corruption Commission gets anti-red tape recommendatory powers

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed an executive order mandating the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to recommend complaints of violations of the Anti-Red Tape Act to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

President Duterte appoints Ramos-Samaniego as BoI governor

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed Board of Investments (BoI) Management Service Group OIC-Executive Director Marjorie O. Ramos-Samaniego as BoI governor.

Duterte signs Telecommuting Act into law

A MEASURE institutionalizing telecommuting as an alternative work scheme has been signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, as confirmed on Thursday by Malacañang and also by Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, one of the measure’s principal authors.

Duterte signs law on 300% increase in pension for war veterans

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed a law increasing the monthly pension of war veterans to “300%” beginning this year.

Palace denies red-baiting journalist group members

MALACAÑANG on Thursday denied that the government, through the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), is red-baiting members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

Duterte signs into law HIV and AIDS Act

MALACAÑANG ANNOUNCED on Wednesday that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018.

Local holidays declared in 3 cities for festivals, anniversary celebration

MALACAÑANG HAS declared special non-working days in three cities for their respective local celebrations. These are:

Palace approves urgent certification for P60 tobacco tax

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved a proposal of the Department of Health (DoH) and the Department of Finance (DoF) to impose a P60 tax per pack of tobacco and P40 per liter of alcohol.

Palace calls Andaya bluff on 2019 gov’t salary hike

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday dismissed House Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr.’s threat to seek Supreme Court intervention if the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) fails to implement a scheduled salary increase for government employees by Jan. 15.

Palace: Give officials under investigation chance to respond

PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo on Tuesday said the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) should give officials under investigation for alleged corruption a chance to respond.

Palace assures Duterte’s support for HIV law awaiting signature

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday assured the public that President Rodrigo R. Duterte supports the proposed HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018.

Part of road funds eyed for Manila Bay rehabilitation

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants a portion of the special road funds to be used for the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay.

Bello, Lapeña, Quintayo under Palace investigation

AN OFFICIAL of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Monday said the commission is currently investigating corruption allegations against Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Director-General Isidro S. Lapeña of the Technical and Skills Development Authority, and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) chairperson Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo.

Palace on China-Taiwan row: ‘It’s between the two countries’

“NEVER MIND them,” said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s spokesman, in response to questions about China’s latest tension with Taiwan.

Police chief says no order to profile ACT members, but 3...

POLICE DIRECTOR General Oscar D. Albayalde said he has ordered the relieved of three intelligence officers who allegedly “leaked” a document ordering the profiling of members of the left-leaning Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list, but added that he did not sign any such directive.

CHR to boost inquiry on human rights violations in drug war,...

THE COMMISSION on Human Rights (CHR) aims to strengthen its investigation on human rights violation cases in relation to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s nationwide war on drugs in 2019.

PACC wants additional powers and jurisdiction

THE PRESIDENTIAL Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is preparing to ask President Rodrigo R. Duterte to grant the agency prosecutorial powers and expand its jurisdiction.

UNESCO, PTFoMS to sign partnership on media safety program

THE PRESIDENTIAL Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) is set to sign an agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for a program on media safety and raising the standards of the journalism practice in the country.

Another UN rapporteur draws ire of Malacañang

MALACAÑANG ON Thursday lambasted United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) Michel Forst for asking the Philippine government to “review and desist from employing counter-insurgency measures which result in extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, and human rights violations” in the country.

IP commission says ‘hamletting’ not the way to protect lumads

THE NATIONAL Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on Thursday rejected President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s plan to “hamlet” IP, locally referred to as lumads, to protect them from harm and the influence of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

DBM sees budget enacted by March

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Wednesday that the proposed P3.575-trillion 2019 national budget might be signed into law in mid-February, with the effect that disbursements will fall P44 billion in the first quarter.

Duterte to sign rice tariffication bill soon

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is expected to sign the Rice Tariffication bill “anytime soon,” Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Duterte wants IP ‘hamlets’ to keep NPAs out

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte said he will “hamlet” indigenous peoples (IP) beginning “this year” to protect them from being attacked or influenced by communist guerrillas.

Nationwide round-up

THE TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) launched on Wednesday its four-year technical-vocational program as its new director general, Isidro S. Lapeña, made his first official appearance as the agency’s head.

Duterte sees Mindanao economy boosted by barter

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte said Monday that the revival of the barter system in Mindanao is expected to boost its economy and improve peace and security in the area.

Road Board abolition might need the court

THE SENATE is all for the abolition of the Road Board and the President is ready to sign the law abolishing the controversial agency, but a copy of the bill approved by both chambers of Congress never made it to Malacañang.

Duterte orders Diokno to skip House hearings on budget

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has instructed Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno not to appear at the upcoming congressional hearing on the alleged “insertions” in the proposed 2019 budget, Malacañang said.

Duterte does not feel alluded to in archbishop’s ‘bully’ message

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON Salvador S. Panelo on Tuesday said the President did not feel alluded to by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle when the latter delivered a message during the first Simbang Gabi saying that those in power should not bully anyone.

Localized peace talks a good road — analysts

THE DUTERTE administration’s move towards stronger localized peace talks with communist guerrillas is an “innovation worth pursuing,” but the 2019 target to quash the insurgency is not very realistic, analysts say.

Jan. 2 a holiday for executive branch workers

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES under the executive branch will enjoy another day off on Jan. 2 next year, Malacañang announced on Monday. Executive Secretary Salvador S. Medialdea signed Memorandum Circular No. 54 on Dec. 17 for the work suspension covering “government offices throughout the country, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, state universities and colleges, local government units, and other agencies and instrumentalities.”

Tourism plan for Balangiga bells to be drawn

THE SMALL town of Balangiga is expected to attract tourists with the return of its three church bells after 117 years in the hands of the United States following the Philippine-American War.