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Measures exempting small miners from taxes on gold sales sent to...

THE SENATE ways and means committee has presented to the plenary the bill which grants tax exemptions to small-scale miners who sell their gold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Gov’t mulls takeover of Hanjin’s shipyard

OPTIONS for a resolution of debt troubles of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil), which has entered rehabilitation, now include a possible government takeover of its facilities in Subic Bay Freeport in Central Luzon, the country’s Defense chief said on Wednesday.

Extra DPWH, DILG funds eyed for Health dep’t facilities

SENATE Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon wants to restore the P24.5 billion taken from the Department of Health (DoH) in the 2019 proposed national budget to fund the agency’s health facilities program and human resources.

DICT finds no violation in info security

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Tuesday said its initial evaluation found “organizations” in government compliant with information security standards.

Senate to delete DPWH’s P75 billion

THE SENATE will move to delete the P75 billion added to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) without its prior knowledge when the chamber reaches the period of amendments in its deliberations on the 2019 national budget.

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).

Majority leaders to resolve abolition of Road Board

SENATE Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri on Monday said he plans to meet with House Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. to agree on the “parameters of amendments” before the Senate decides on a proposal for a bicameral conference committee to resolve the Road Board abolition.

Pulse survey: Filipinos trust US the most, China the least

MAJORITY OF Filipinos still trust the United States the most, according to a Pulse Asia Research, Inc. survey that also showed China and Russia earning low trust ratings.

Pimentel to push inquiry into passport data breach

SENATOR AQUILINO L. Pimentel III plans to file a resolution to look into the reported passport data breach in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) involving a previous contractor.

Abolition of Road Board, budget top Congress agenda

CONGRESS RESUMES session on Monday, Jan. 14 with the proposed P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019 as the top priority measure in the Senate and the House of Representatives set to tackle the Road Board abolition bill.

Proof-of-Parking Space bill seen to complement MMDA policy on parking

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian said the Proof-of-Parking Space bill still needs to be enacted with the aim of helping decongest Metro Manila’sroads, following the policy of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to impose higher fines on illegal parked vehicles.

Senate lists priority measures for action next week

SENATE PRESIDENT Vicente C. Sotto III on Thursday listed the priority measures that the chamber is seeking to pass on third and final reading, aside from the proposed 2019 national budget, when it resumes session next week.

Poe signals court challenge to two tower-company limit

SENATOR Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares on Thursday said she will go to the courts if the common tower policy proposed by Presidential Adviser for Economic Affairs and Information Technology Communications Ramon P. Jacinto goes ahead.

Sotto says no need for bicameral conference on abolition of Road...

SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III on Thursday stuck to his position that there is no need for a bicameral conference committee on the bill abolishing the Road Board, despite proposals on such moves in order to resolve the issue.

Senate sets end-Jan. deadline for budget approval

THE Senate will seek to ratify the P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019 within two weeks after resuming session next week after Malacañang called on Congress to pass the measure “at the soonest possible time.”

Profile discharged cops, Lacson advises PNP

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson on Tuesday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should redirect its efforts in profiling teachers’ groups to discharged police and military personnel who have become guns for hire.

Senate panel wants quicker response to fuel price shocks

THE Senate committee on economic affairs will consult with the government’s economic team in coming up with a mechanism that will help government quickly react to external price shocks.

Benguet mayors seek bigger say in Greater Baguio

BENGUET mayors said they want the role of a development authority centered on Baguio City to be clearly defined to prevent overlaps with local government units (LGUs).

Preparations in place for annual Black Nazarene procession

MANILA Mayor Joseph E. Estrada suspended classes on Jan. 9, Wednesday, in all levels of public and private schools in Manila as security preparations are geared up for this year’s Traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene.

Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge closed for 30 months beginning Jan. 12

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will close for 30 months the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, which connects Makati City and Mandaluyong City, beginning Jan. 12, both the DPWH and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Friday.

Makati beats 2018 revenue target in first 11 months

THE Makati City government said it collected revenue of P16.86 billion in the 11 months to November, mainly from business tax and real estate tax, beating its P15.67 billion full-year target.

Palace authorizes extension of 2018 maintenance, fund

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed a resolution extending the availability of the 2018 national budget for the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlay (CO), pending delays in the passage of the 2019 budget, Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea said Thursday.

Duterte off to Bicol to visit typhoon victims

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte is scheduled to visit on Friday some areas in the Bicol region that were devastated by heavy rains and landslides brought about by Typhoon Usman.

Gov’t says Cotabato City blast an ‘isolated case’ in Mindanao

MALACAÑANG on Thursday maintained that traveling to Mindanao is safe amid warnings issued by the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia to its citizens.

Senate to discuss fate of tax reforms, other priorities on Jan....

THE SENATE will discuss the fate of at least the second tax reform package, the proposed 2019 national budget and of other priorities in a caucus when 17th Congress lawmakers return to work on Jan. 14, the head of the chamber said on Wednesday.

Palace: Duterte just testing Catholic Church doctrine of Holy Trinity

MALACAÑANG clarified President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s recent remarks describing the Catholic Church’s teachings on the Holy Trinity as “silly,” saying that the President was merely putting “to a test” their validity.

Senate panel backs bill requiring harmonized LGU business fees

THE Senate committee on local government is recommending passage of a bill requiring the national government to provide clear guidelines for local government units (LGU) seeking to impose fees and charges on businesses.

DoLE, ECoP working on regularization settlement

LABOR SECRETARY Silvestre H. Bello III said Thursday that the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) has committed to a program of extending regular status to its employees.

Resumption of peace talks with communist groups still ‘possible’

LABOR Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on Thursday said it is still “possible” to go back to the peace table with communist groups next year despite the administration’s shift towards localized talks.

Reward money for Batocabe case up to P50M; Daraga under review...

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has raised the reward money to P50 million for information on the killers of AKO Bicol Rep. Rodel M. Batocabe. “The reward is at this time P30 million.

Senate approves bill extending TIEZA power to grant incentives

THE SENATE approved on third and final reading a bill extending the authority of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to grant incentives to tourism enterprises until Dec. 31, 2029.

Conditional cash transfer bill reported out of committee makes it to...

THE BILL institutionalizing the government’s conditional cash transfer program has been reported out to the plenary for approval in the Senate.

Senate working on resolving data transmission bill issues

SENATOR Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV said the open access in data transmission bill still has a chance to be passed in the Senate before the 17th Congress ends if the committee on science and technology addresses the concerns of some senators on the proposed measure.

Duterte: Let’s abolish the Road Board

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte himself has said that he wants, and will support the move, to abolish the Road Board.

UNHRC-WGAD refers De Lima case to 3 rapporteurs

THE UNITED Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has referred Senator Leila M. De Lima’s case to three special rapporteurs for investigation on her alleged unjust detention.

PHL, US revitalize alliance with Locsin as foreign affairs chief

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and United States Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo reaffirmed the US-Philippines alliance in a meeting on Thursday at the US Department of State in Washington D.C.

UN endorses migrant worker protection agreement

THE United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday officially endorsed an international agreement that seeks to provide better treatment and protection of migrants around the world, including the 10 million Filipinos overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

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.

DoH funding may be taken from non-performing agencies — Ejercito

SENATOR Joseph Victor G. Ejercito said he may seek to take funds from the budgets of non-performing agencies or those that have failed to spend effectively to provide more funding to the budget of Department of Health (DoH’s) Facilities Enhancement Program.

House claims Duterte agreed to let Road Board continue

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte agreed to withdraw his order abolishing the Road Board, House Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. claimed on Wednesday, thereby allowing its funding to be distributed.

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.

Senate targets June creation of Baguio dev’t authority

THE Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises is backing the passage of a bill that will create a development authority for Baguio City and its surrounding municipalities before the 17th Congress ends.

Lapeña not included for possible drug smuggling charges in Senate committee...

THE SENATE Blue Ribbon committee has recommended further probe by the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman on personalities involved in the shipment of P11 billion worth of illegal drugs last June for possible administrative and criminal liabilities.

Poverty database bill filed in Senate

SENATE Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri filed a bill creating a consolidated poverty data collection (CPDC) system that will serve as the basis for targeting beneficiaries of the government’s poverty alleviation programs.

Senate presses Palace not to extend session for budget

SENATORS on Thursday asked Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea not to endorse to the President a recommendation to call a special session of Congress next week to complete the budget.