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Senator backs removing BI authority to issue temporary work permits to...

SENATOR Joel J. Villanueva said he is proposing to remove the authority of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to issue temporary special working permits (SWPs) to foreigners.

Locsin: PHL efforts on counter-terrorism anchored on human rights, rule of...

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. maintained that the Philippines’ efforts to address terrorism have been anchored on human rights and the rule of law.

Tourism body gets 10 more years to offer perks

CONGRESS has ratified a measure extending the power of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to grant incentives to tourism enterprises for another 10 years.

Senate panel tackles proposed revival of ROTC

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian is seeking a unified mechanism from the Department of Defense (DND) and Department of Education (DepEd) to address the possible cases of hazing, abuse, and corruption with the proposed revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in the education system.

Senators call for safeguards to bank secrecy easing

SENATORS signaled caution on easing bank secrecy laws, one of the issues that led Malacañang to veto parts of Republic Act 11213 or the Tax Amnesty Law, noting that safeguards are needed to prevent the use of bank account inquiries to harass taxpayers.

Hungarian firm expresses interest in supplying water tech during calamities

A HUNGARIAN COMPANY specializing in water management systems has expressed interest in working with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to improve its capabilities in times of calamity, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

US Marines commander to push for joint activities with PHL

UNITED STATES Commander of the Marine Forces Pacific (US MarForPac) Lt. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta met with top military officials in his three-day visit to the Philippines from Feb. 16 to 18, to discuss opportunities for collaboration with the Philippine Marines Corps (PMC).

Proposal to ease bank secrecy still a hurdle for general tax...

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday said he will support the passage of a general tax amnesty bill in the 18th Congress, but noted that lawmakers may still be “wary” of easing bank secrecy laws, as requested by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his veto message last Friday on this measure.

Senate backs franchise for Leviste solar firm, limited to 13 provinces

THE SENATE committees on public services and energy have recommended the approval of a “non-exclusive” franchise for Solar Para sa Bayan Corp. (SPSBC) subject to the adoption of amendments from the chamber.

UN report says PHL gov’t targeting women defenders of human rights

WOMEN HUMAN rights defenders are being targeted in the Philippines, a United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur said in his report to the UN Human...

Finance dep’t still open to general tax amnesty

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said it will push for a new measure that will provide a general tax amnesty, after such a provision was vetoed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte when he signed into law last Friday the reprieve for estate tax liabilities and national tax delinquencies in specific circumstances.

Senate eliminates Bataan freeport incentives from bill

THE Senate passed on second reading a bill strengthening the powers and functions of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) with its proposed fiscal incentives removed.

Social welfare attaché bill for OFWs to be elevated to Palace...

THE Senate has adopted the House version of the bill calling for the creation of social welfare attachés in countries with high concentrations of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

Focus on bailiwicks: Analysts on LP bets

THE Otso Diretso senatorial slate of the opposition Liberal Party (LP) should bank on their strengths and bailiwicks to increase their chances in the 2019 midterm elections, analysts said Sunday.

DFA extends ban on some Polish deployments

THE Philippine Embassy in Warsaw renewed its recommendation to suspend the deployment of workers to the polish road transport sector following the reported poor working conditions of Filipino truck drivers.

Locsin in Hungary to strengthen ties

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. is in Hungary for an official visit to strengthen relations between Manila and Budapest, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.

SWS survey: Who cares about age gap in a relationship?

FILIPINOS ARE split on whether age gap matters in a relationship, a December survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

Reelectionist senators band together for campaign

REELECTIONIST SENATORS belonging to different political affiliations have banded together and held a proclamation rally in Tondo, Manila City on the second day of the campaign period for the 2019 midterm elections on May 13.

PHL to present commitments to UN WGEID

A PHILIPPINE delegation headed by Presidential Human Rights Committee Undersecretary Severo S. Catura will present before the United Nations Work Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UN WGEID) this week the country’s commitments and obligations in the cases of enforced and involuntary disappearances that occurred between 1975 to 2012.

Ex-technocrats push Duterte to sign rice tariffication bill

THE Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) urged President Rodrigo R. Duterte to sign the rice tariffication bill to help resolve various issues afflicting the rice industry, including smuggling, uncompetitive production costs, and corruption.

Senatorial candidates kick off election campaign

SENATORIAL candidates under Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) kicked off their election campaign in Pampanga on Tuesday, while the opposition Liberal Party’s eight candidates under the Otso Diretso banner began their stumping in Caloocan City, a hotspot in President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s drug war.

Japan signals further support for Mindanao peace process

JAPAN will provide additional support to the Mindanao peace process, especially for activities involving the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Gordon reports out bill reducing national gov’t take from ecozone tax

SENATOR Richard J. Gordon, who chairs the chamber’s committee on government corporations and public enterprises, sponsored to the plenary a bill seeking to increase the powers of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

Affordable organic certification bill elevated to Senate plenary

SENATOR Cynthia A. Villar has presented to the plenary a bill establishing a more affordable system for certifying organic products.

Diokno rejects bid to ‘pressure’ Duterte into budget veto

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said President Rodrigo R. Duterte should not be “pressured” into drafting a veto message for the budget, amid threats by some legislators to question the 2019 spending program before the Supreme Court.

Japan Foreign Minister to visit PHL

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday announced that Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will visit the Philippines from Feb. 9 to 11.

Congress targets 2019 budget ratification today

BOTH CHAMBERS of Congress will hold sessions today in a last-minute attempt to ratify the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 despite lingering questions on perceived irregular fund “insertions.”

US envoy open to review of Mutual Defense Treaty

THE UNITED STATES welcomes the Philippine government’s plan to review the 67-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the two countries, US Ambassador Sung Y. Kim said on Thursday.

Amendments to terror law in Senate plenary

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson on Wednesday presented to the plenary the bill seeking to strengthen the country’s terrorism laws.

Joint legislative resolution OK’s transfer of Mislatel ownership

THE COUNTRY’s third major telecommunications service provider saw legal obstacles to the start of its operations reduced on Wednesday, as the Senate adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 23, which approves the transfer of controlling interest of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc.’s (Mislatel) to the Mislatel consortium.

Senate hearing starts on higher liquor tax rates

EVEN with the window fast closing on final legislative approval of any more tax reform in the current 17th Congress, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Wednesday started action on bills seeking to increase the excise tax rate on alcohol products.

House signals readiness to sign 2019 budget committee report

THE House contingent to the Bicameral Conference Committee is ready to sign the committee report for the P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget, Rep. Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. of the 1st district of Camarines Sur, who chairs the chamber’s Appropriations Committee, said on Wednesday.

Senate approves CBCP’s broadcasting franchise

THE Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading the bill extending for another 25 years the broadcasting franchise of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Interior, Social Welfare chiefs, others confirmed

THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed Eduardo M. Año as the Interior Secretary, Rolando D. Bautista as Social Welfare Secretary, and Aileen A. Lizada as commissioner of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Senate caucus to review budget bicam results today

THE SENATE will caucus today, Feb. 6, to discuss the final provisions in the proposed P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019 that the bicameral conference committee is expected to have reconciled and approved on the same day.

Poe says Mislatel franchise validity up to courts

SENATOR Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares on Monday sponsored to the plenary the House concurrent resolution approving the transfer of controlling interest in the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc.’s (Mislatel) to the Mislatel consortium.

Tobacco tax hike measure gains ground in Senate body, mining bill...

PROPOSALS to increase the excise tax on tobacco products gained ground as the Senate ways and means committee on Monday concluded public hearings on the measures.

Senate, House approve Murang Kuryente bill

THE two chambers of Congress on Monday approved on third and final reading the bill proposing to use the government share of the Malampaya fund as subsidy to settle obligations of the National Power Corp. (NPC).

Senate approves 4Ps bill

THE Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading the bill seeking to institutionalize the government’s anti-poverty Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Seal of good governance bill gets bicam committee OK

THE BILL institutionalizing an incentive program for local government units (LGUs) called the Seal of Good Local Governance has hurdled the bicameral conference committee level.

Senate bill to upgrade Warehouse Receipts Law sent to plenary

THE bill modernizing the 107-year-old Warehouse Receipts Law has been sponsored to the plenary by the Senate committee on trade, commerce, and entrepreneurship.

DILG Chief: Indonesian suicide bombers behind Jolo blast

INDONESIAN suicide bombers aided by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf were behind the Sunday twin blasts at the Jolo Cathedral, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año said Friday.

Israel, Russia reaffirm ties with PHL

ISRAELI Ambassador Rafael Harpaz and Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev paid courtesy calls to President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday to reaffirm ties with the Philippines, Malacañang said on Thursday night.

Lawmakers move to spare infrastructure from poll ban as 2019 budget...

LAWMAKERS making up the bicameral conference committee now hammering out the final version of the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 have committed to ensuring ratification next week, with the measure containing a provision that would spare new infrastructure projects from the 45-day public works ban ahead of the May 13 mid-term elections.

Filipino worker executed in Saudi Arabia

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported on Thursday that a 39-year-old Filipino househelp was executed in Saudi Arabia last Tuesday, Jan. 29 after being found guilty of murder.