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Top diplomat to UN: Respect sovereignty

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. renewed the Philippines government’s commitment towards keeping international order, but advised the United Nations (UN) to respect sovereign principle.

Taiwanese company expands Laguna manufacturing facility

TAIPEI — Taiwanese power supply firm AcBel Polytech, Inc. is set to expand not just its manufacturing facility in Taiwan, but also its factory in Laguna, Philippines, which is expected to be completed within the first half of 2020.

More economic measures pushed

THE 17TH CONGRESS, which closed its third and last regular session on Tuesday, passed an “acceptable” number of laws, key officials of business chambers said, but noted the lack of measures on economic liberalization.

Senators begin assigning committee posts

THE Senate’s reorganization for the 18th Congress is almost complete, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said, following a Wednesday dinner attended by both incumbent and incoming senators.

DFA chief: PHL still online participant in climate change meetings

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday clarified it will still remain a participant of United Nations conferences on climate change, but through online communication.

Tobacco tax bill tweaks to cover health care law’s funding gap

LAST-MINUTE CHANGES to the measure further increasing tobacco product excise tax rates that partly tap collections of sugar-sweetened beverage and alcohol product levies should help fully fund implementation of Republic Act No. 11223, or the Universal Health Care Act, a senior official of the Department of Finance (DoF) said on Wednesday.

No more air travel for DFA officials to climate change forums...

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. on Wednesday said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will not allow its officials to attend climate change conferences “requiring air travel.”

Tobacco tax measure makes it out of Congress

THE CONTENTIOUS proposal to further increase excise tax rates for tobacco products barely made it out of the 17th Congress after the Senate scrambled to revise the version it approved Monday night in order to make it acceptable to the House of Representatives.

Bank system hacking, credit and ATM card fraud face stiffer penalties

THE SENATE has approved on third and final reading a measure imposing stiffer penalties on those who hack bank systems.

Senators doubt ROTC bill to pass in 17th Congress

THE proposed bill reinstating the Reserve Officers’ Training Course (ROTC) program in senior high school will not hurdle the 17th Congress, even as President Rodrigo R. Duterte certified it as urgent.

Senate approves proposed tobacco tax hike

SENATORS on Monday approved on third and final reading a proposal to increase excise taxes on tobacco products to P60 by 2023, a day before the 17th Congress ends.

Senate votes to ratify Indonesia agreement on economic zone

THE Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a Senate resolution concurring in the ratification of the Philippine-Indonesia agreement on maritime boundaries.

13 senators sign resolution supporting Sotto

By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter THIRTEEN senators have signed a draft resolution expressing support for Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to continue his leadership...

Senate approves RadioCorp firms’ franchise extension

THE Senate approved on third and final reading bills extending the franchise granted to four broadcasting companies under the RadioCorp Broadcasting Group.

Measure on Islamic banks up for Senate approval

THE MEASURE proposing to establish a regulatory framework for Islamic banks may be among the bills that will secure final approval in the Senate this week.

Duterte to Japanese businessmen on war with China: ‘My marines will...

THE Philippines will not stand a chance in a war with China, President Rodrigo R. Duterte reiterated anew, but this time before an audience of Japanese businessmen on Friday.

Duterte slams climate change conferences

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte, before an audience of Japanese businessmen on Friday, slammed the series of international climate-change conferences amid the continuing impact of that phenomenon.

Lacson to distribute in Senate resolution supporting Sotto

A RESOLUTION will be circulated among senators to gauge support for Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III’s continuing leadership in the chamber in the 18th Congress, Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Friday.

Comelec to review bidding procedures following Duterte’s remarks against Smartmatic

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will review its procedures in awarding contracts to election technology providers, following President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s remarks Thursday night against Smartmatic.

Recalled envoys to reassume posts in Canada

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday directed recalled ambassadors and consuls to return to Canada following the shipment of the waste containers.

Senate OK’s Magnum Air franchise

THE Senate has approved on third and final reading the bill granting a 25-year air transport franchise to Magnum Air, Inc., which operates SkyJet Airlines.

DFA chief: Canada trash shipped out of PHL

THE shipment of all 69 waste containers back to Canada has pushed through, with the Canadian government shouldering some P10 million in shipment costs.

Back to square one for Public Service Act amendment

IT’S BACK to square one for the bill amending the 82-year-old Public Service Act (PSA) to lift foreign ownership limits in certain sectors as it will fail to secure final approval with two session days left for the 17th Congress to wrap up its business.

Sotto: No takers for ‘headache’ Senate committees

SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III said on Wednesday six committee chairmanships have yet to be filled in the 18th Congress.

Senator: Bill against street harassment of women, LGBT has lapsed into...

THE measure penalizing gender-based street harassment against women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has lapsed into law, Senator Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said.

Senate body nearly adopts House mining tax version

THE SENATE Committee on Ways and Means on Tuesday minimized differences with the House of Representatives’ version of a proposal to increase the government’s share in mining revenues in a bid to fast-track final legislative approval.

Bicam adopts provision reserving 100% of service charge for distribution to...

A PROVISION reserving 100% of service charges in the hospitality industry for distribution to workers was adopted by the bicameral conference committee Tuesday, a senior legislator said.

Locsin: Canada trash to be shipped back May 30

ALL 69 waste containers from Canada will be shipped back to the North American country on May 30, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr.

Finance department asks Senate to adopt House alcohol tax version

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) on Monday appealed to the Senate to just adopt the House of Representatives’ bill raising excise tax rates on alcohol products in a last-minute bid to bag approval in the five session days left for the 17th Congress, but leaders of the chamber were either noncommittal or cold to the idea.

₱1 trillion in public works needed to hit GDP goal

THE government needs to spend P1 trillion on infrastructure if it is to meet a growth target of 6% in 2019, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said, as he detailed “catch-up” measures to facilitate spending delayed by the stalled 2019 budget.

Senate passes bill granting solar franchise to Leviste firm

THE Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill granting a renewable energy distribution franchise to the Solar Para Sa Bayan Corp. (SPSBC).

Lawyer asks SC to probe IBP officers involved in Advincula presscon

A LAWYER has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to investigate and hold accountable the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) officers who were involved in allowing Peter Joemel Advincula, self-confessed “Bikoy,” to hold a press conference at the organization’s office last May 6.

Senate cuts projected take from tobacco tax

THE MEASURE imposing a higher excise tax on tobacco products, as proposed by the Senate, is expected to generate P15 billion in revenues next year, the Department of Finance (DoF) said over the weekend.

Senate approves franchise extension for RJ Jacinto’s network

THE Senate has approved on second reading the bill extending the franchise of Rajah Broadcasting Network, Inc. (RBN), owned by presidential adviser Ramon “RJ” P. Jacinto, for another 25 years.

Senate pushes bigger increase in tobacco tax

THE SENATE is pushing a bigger increase in excise tax on tobacco products, proposing a hike to P45-60 per pack by 2023 from P35 currently, against the House of Representatives’ proposed P37.50-45/pack rates by 2022.

‘Murang Kuryente’ measure hurdles bicam; ratification seen next week

THE SENATE and House of Representatives are set to ratify next week the proposed “Murang Kuryente Act,” which could end up taking effect in September.

‘Bikoy’ surrenders, tags LP in plot against Duterte

PETER Joemel Advincula, the man claiming to be the netizen “Bikoy” in the video series against President Rodrigo R. Duterte, surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday.

Morales cited as ‘threat,’ held briefly in Hong Kong

RETIRED Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was held Tuesday by Hong Kong immigration authorities for being a “security threat,” her legal counsel confirmed.

Robredo as LP chair rejects resignation of 2 party leaders

VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Leonor G. Robredo on Tuesday rejected the resignations of two leaders of the opposition Liberal Party (LP), Senator Francis N. Pangilinan as party president and Quezon City-6th district Rep. Jose Christopher Y. Belmonte as secretary-general.

Senate leader assures minority of panel posts

SENATE Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri assured the minority bloc in the Senate will get a fair chance in the assignment of committee chairmanships.

No more tax reforms to make it out of 17th Congress

THE 17th CONGRESS will likely end with enactment of the anti-terrorism, the security of tenure and the expanded anti-wiretapping measures, but without any of the remaining tax reforms wanted by the Executive, Senate leaders signaled on Monday.

Senate passes bill conditionally allowing more than 8 hours’ work a...

THE Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a measure amending Presidential decree No. 442, which will allow companies to require workers to work beyond eight hours a day, subject to certain conditions.

Midterm polls bare campaign lessons

THE RECENT MIDTERM elections showed the ineffectiveness of negative campaigning and the limits of social media drives, observers said in separate interviews late last week.

40% foreign-owned builders are now eligible for infrastructure projects

THE Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) has approved a resolution raising the foreign equity requirement for infrastructure projects to 40% from the current 25%.

UNICEF to Congress: Support Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act

THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a statement on Sunday called on Congress to support the full implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, amid the Senate’s planned debate Monday to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility.