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Senate report pegs criminal liability at 12

THE SENATE committee on justice and human rights has recommended the lowering of criminal responsibility among juvenile offenders from the present 15 years old to 12 years old.

2019 budget in last-minute trouble at bicameral talks

WEDNESDAY validated expectations of “bloody” bicameral conference committee talks on the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for this year, with no less than the Senate president threatening to withdraw the version of his chamber from the table before lawmakers concerned met again on the spending plan that day.

3rd telco at risk from legal questions

THE FATE of the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc.’s (Mislatel) franchise hangs in the balance as the Senate committee on public services forwarded to the Senate plenary the House concurrent resolution formalizing the company’s transfer of controlling interest to the Mislatel consortium that has been chosen as the Philippines’ third major telecommunications service provider.

Senate body finalizing bill raising tobacco tax

THE SENATE Ways and Means committee aims to report for plenary action by Feb. 6 the bill further increasing excise taxes on tobacco products before Congress takes its Feb. 7-May 19 break.

Senate approves tax perks for small gold miners on 3rd reading

THE Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill offering tax exemptions to small-scale miners who sell their gold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Senate to look into Mislatel compliance with franchise terms

THE Senate committee on public services will resume its hearing looking into the selection process for the telecommunication industry’s third player on Wednesday.

Bicameral committee targets Jan. 30 OK of 2019 budget

THE HOUSE of Representatives and the Senate on Monday resumed their bicameral conference committee meeting to reconcile differences in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019, targeting approval on Wednesday.

WB advises Philippines to upgrade service sector

THE GOVERNMENT needs to support the upgrade of services and worker talent, the World Bank (WB) said, noting that global trade in goods will be subdued for quite some time.

Senate bill seeking to restore VAT exemptions for petroleum products

SENATOR Aquilino L. Pimentel III has filed a bill restoring the value-added tax (VAT) exemptions on petroleum products.

Senate committee studying amendment to foreign investment act

THE Senate committee on economic affairs on Thursday opened its inquiry into the bill seeking to amend Republic Act No. 7042 or the Foreign Investments Act of 1991.

Innovation measure clears bicameral panel

THE bicameral conference committee approved on Tuesday the proposed Philippine Innovation Act, which will establish an innovation policy that will help the global competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Budget bicameral panel to reconvene on Monday

THE bicameral conference committee on the 2019 proposed national budget will reconvene on Monday next week, Jan. 28, to reconcile the differences between the two chambers’ versions of the budget bill.

House revises bill on age for criminal liability

AMID the backlash to its bill on criminal liability, the House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading an amended version of that bill lowering the age of “social” responsibility to 12 years old, from the originally proposed age of nine years old the chamber had earlier passed.

Senate blocks funding for CCTV project with China

THE Senate has blocked in the proposed 2019 national budget the P20 billion Chinese-funded Safe Philippines Project, whose commercial contract was signed during the Manila visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping last November.

Freeport bill for Bataan hurdles panel

THE Senate committee on economic affairs presented to the plenary on Monday the bill strengthening the powers and functions of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB).

Senate adopts House bill on Road Board abolition

THE SENATE on Tuesday adopted the House of Representatives’ revised version of the bill abolishing the Road Board.

Senate tackles gaps in rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents

THE gaps in the implementation of Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act were highlighted during the Senate hearing on the bills lowering the minimum age of criminal liability on Tuesday, with Senator Richard J. Gordon likely to recommend setting it to 12 years old.

‘Bloody’ conference with House ahead as Senate OK’s proposed 2019 budget

THE SENATE on Monday approved its version of the P3.757-trillion proposed national budget for 2019 on second and third reading in quick session and moved to form a bicameral conference panel.

House panel OK’s bill lowering age of criminal liability to 9

THE HOUSE committee on justice on Monday approved what its chairman called a “pro-children” measure lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 9 years old from the current 15 years old.

Bill filed in Senate barring solid waste imports

SENATOR Aquilino Martin L. Pimentel III has filed a bill seeking to ban imports of solid waste.

What lies ahead for the Philippines on China’s Belt and Road...

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte sought warmer ties with China at the outset of his presidency, at a time when China was on its way with its ambitious global infrastructure program called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

VistaHub Molino gets special ecozone status

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has issued a proclamation designating the VistaHub BPO Molino in Bacoor City, Cavite as a special economic zone.

Duterte to reach out to Misuari after BOL ratification

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte expressed his intention to talk to Nur Misuari after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in order to forge a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Palace slams PHL assessment by ACLED, Human Rights Watch

THE Philippines does not need the lectures of “inexpert foreign groups on how the run a nation,” Malacañang said on Friday, following a report by a US-based non-governmental organization which labeled the country as a “war zone in disguise.”

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.