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Palace calls on EU anew to stop funding of Red fronts

Malacañang on Friday called on the European Union anew to reconsider funding organizations allegedly being used as legal fronts of the communist rebellion.

Dominguez calls anew for passage of tax reform packages

FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Friday reiterated his call to Congress to pass the remaining packages of the government’s tax reform program this year.

Lacson confident Palace will partly veto budget

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday that he is confident that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will veto parts of the P3.757-trillion 2019 budget now awaiting his signature, especially allegedly unauthorized items inserted after the bicameral conference committee approved the spending plan.

Foreign Investments Act amendments being rushed

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian said Thursday that he intends to present to the plenary a bill amending the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) of 1991 to improve the country’s standing as a foreign investment destination in Southeast Asia.

Russia seen as possible market, source of agricultural investment

THE Philippines and Russia have discussed possible Russian investment in Mindanao and market access for Philippine produce, the Philippine Embassy in Moscow said in a statement Wednesday.

Senator calls for stricter laws on carrying of firearms

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson on Wednesday recommended that the 18th Congress legislate stricter laws on the carrying of firearms, following recent shooting incidents, including the killing of a policeman in San Juan City last Tuesday.

Senate sends 2019 budget to Duterte

THE BICAMERAL DEADLOCK over this year’s P3.757-trillion national budget -- which threatened to drag overall economic growth -- ended on Tuesday as Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III announced that he has signed, with “reservations,” and transmitted the spending plan to Malacañang.

Palace: Duterte to ‘kill’ adviser if found involved in drug trade

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte will “kill” his economic adviser Michael Yang if he is involved in illegal drugs.

Sotto casts doubt on passing tax measures; terrorism bill top priority

SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III said the bill updating the anti-terrorism law is the Senate’s top priority measure when session resumes on May 20, while expressing doubt about the passage of pending tax measures for the remainder of the 17th Congress.

Senator calls for investigation into POGO workers’ registration, tax payments

SENATOR Leila M. de Lima has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the alleged noncompliance of some foreign gaming firms, particularly in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) establishments, to ensure their workers are properly registered and taxed.

Lawmakers see possible Budget transmission by next week

LEGISLATORS expressed guarded confidence about the progress made in resolving the 2019 Budget impasse, with both Senators and Congressmen giving next week as a possible time frame for sending the measure to the Palace for signing.

US still at the top of Filipinos’ trust list, China the...

FILIPINOS STILL trust the United States (US) the most and China the least among four countries in a poll by Social Weather Stations (SWS) in December.

House clears 2019 budget hurdle

THE LEGISLATIVE DEADLOCK over the P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 appears finally headed for resolution, with the House of Representatives “physically retrieving” on Wednesday the copy it transmitted to the Senate on March 11.

Locsin, economic delegation begin key meetings in Beijing

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. has arrived in Beijing for a four-day visit to China, accompanying a Philippine economic delegation seeking to firm up financing for infrastructure projects.

Duterte fails to break deadlock over budget

LEADERS of the Senate and of the House of Representatives failed to mend their differences over the ratified P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 during a meeting with President Rodrigo R. Duterte in Malacañang on Tuesday evening.

EO due on water crisis; hospital supply safeguarded

A PALACE official said the government is drafting an executive order (EO) to address the water crisis by rationalizing inefficient water management practices which had been flagged by economic planners, as continued shortages in parts of the capital entered their second week, forcing the authorities to prioritize critical users like hospitals.

Palace: Duterte, Congress leaders to resolve budget

CONGRESS LEADERS were scheduled to meet last night with President Rodrigo R. Duterte to discuss the impasse between the Senate and the House of Representatives on the proposed P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019.

Religious leaders should speak without fear of reprisal — US diplomat

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS should be able to speak freely on the actions of government without fear of reprisal, United States (US) Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel D. Brownback said on Tuesday amid President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s continued verbal attack on the Catholic Church.

Malacañang watches as budget impasse simmers

MALACAÑANG on Monday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte was ready to veto questionable provisions in the P3.757-trillion national budget for this year, even as it hoped both chambers of Congress would resolve their differences soon.

Senate won’t push medical marijuana bill

SENATE PRESIDENT Vicente C. Sotto III on Monday said the Senate will not pass any measure legalizing medical marijuana following President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s turnaround on this matter.

Senate leadership open to bill institutionalizing infrastructure drive

SENATORS are open to a law that institutionalizes the government’s intensified infrastructure development program to ensure continuity of flagship projects after President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term ends in mid-2022.

Diplomat seeks to correct Bachelet’s figures on drug war

PHILIPPINE Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Evan P. Garcia has sought to have “corrected” the number of drug-related killings in the Philippines cited by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in her speech on the Philippines’ drug war at the 40th UN Human Rights Council session.

Bill tapping Malampaya fund to pay down Napocor debt hurdles bicameral...

LEGISLATORS on Thursday approved in a bicameral session a bill, which seeks to use the government’s share in the Malampaya Natural Gas Project to pay off the obligations of the National Power Corp. (Napocor).

Bachelet: PHL drug war ‘not a model by any country’

UNITED NATIONS (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet flagged the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs on Wednesday, saying that its policies “should not be considered a model by any country.”

K to 12 review finds declining test scores, skills mismatch

A SENATE committee reviewing the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum has called for measures to improve the basic education system and to better match school training with the skills in demand from industry.

PHL, Vietnam firm up ties with ‘plan of action’

THE PHILIPPINES and Vietnam convened on Tuesday its ninth Joint Bilateral Cooperation Mechanism, which led to both countries adopting a new five-year plan of action on a broad range of areas.

Delayed 2019 budget expected in Malacañang by March 10

THE delayed 2019 budget remained untransmitted to the President well into the third month of the year, amid claims of last-minute revisions to the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) approved by Congress, though a key legislator said the legislation will be forwarded to the Palace by March 10.

Time running out on Official Dev’t Assistance projects, Senate panel told

THE SENATE COMMITTEE on economic affairs on Tuesday opened its inquiry into the official development assistance (ODA) funding under the Build, Build, Build program, with participants claiming that the ODA financing may have slowed the completion of flagship infrastructure projects.

Oversight panel to review 5% coconut biofuel proposal

THE Congressional Oversight Committee on Biofuels is set to conduct a hearing on the proposal of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to increase the coconut content in biodiesel to 5% from the present 2%, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said on Monday.

Comelec: Senatorial debate unlikely

A DEBATE among the senatorial candidates on the watch of the Commission on Elections is unlikely, officials of the poll body said Monday.

Senate to be updated on Build, Build, Build

THE Senate committee on economic affairs will open its inquiry on Tuesday into the status of infrastructure projects under the government’s Build, Build, Build program.

Senate OK’s renewed franchise for Mike Velarde’s network

THE SENATE has passed on third and final reading the bill extending for another 25 years the broadcasting franchise of Delta Broadcasting System, Inc., which is owned by El Shaddai leader Brother Mike Z. Velarde.

Pompeo assures US support via MDT, upholds free press, flags Huawei

THE United States will support the Philippines in any armed attack against its forces in the South China Sea since the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the two countries covers the disputed waters, US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said on Friday, while raising the importance of human rights as well.

Lacson: Delay in budget transmittal hinged on congressmen’s projects

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson on Friday claimed that the delay in the transmittal of the P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019 to Malacañang was due to individual projects still being submitted by congressmen to the House of Representatives leadership even after Congress has ratified the measure.

China disavows Palace ‘tit for tat’ claim on illegals

CHINA ON Thursday denied warning Malacañang of retaliation over the latter’s policies on Chinese illegals as earlier articulated by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo.

Duterte signs law extending use of ill-gotten wealth for human rights-abuse...

MALACAÑANG ON Thursday announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved Joint Resolution No. 04 by Congress, extending until Dec. 31 this year the maintenance, availability, and release of funds intended for human rights-abuse victims during martial law.

Mahathir to visit PHL

MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will visit the Philippines on March 6 to 7 upon the invitation of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the Department...

Nationwide round-up

EIGHTEEN members of the European Parliament have called for more pressure on the Philippine government to release opposition Senator Leila M. De Lima In a letter dated Feb. 24 addressing the European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini, the European legislators called for an official statement from the body to reinforce pressure on Philippine authorities to free the detained senator.

PHL slams Washington Post story on drug war

THE PHILIPPINE Embassy in Washington on Monday slammed an article by the Washington Post on the Philippine government’s war on drugs, saying its portrayal of the country’s capital was a “hasty generalization.”

Proof of Parking bill to be pushed as priority measure

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian wants Malacañang to declare the Proof of Parking bill as a priority measure in the 18th Congress to address traffic congestion in EDSA.

Unions urge gov’t to follow rules on foreign workers

LABOR GROUPS called President Rodrigo R. Duterte “irresponsible” for ignoring rules governing the employment of foreigners in the Philippines, particularly Chinese workers.

Bill regulating activities within power corridors hurdles Senate on 2nd reading

THE Senate approved on second reading a bill seeking to prevent obstruction or hazardous activities along power line corridors.

Senate bill on Baguio-Benguet Authority in plenary

SENATOR Richard J. Gordon has sponsored to the plenary Senate Bill No. 2169 creating the Greater Baguio-Benguet Development Authority.

Senate approves Davao international airport authority bill on 2nd reading

THE SENATE approved on second reading a bill creating the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA).

Senate adopts House bill backing private-sector partners for farmers

THE SENATE has adopted the House version of the bill institutionalizing a Department of Agriculture (DA) program promoting partnerships between farmers, fisherfolk and the private sector.