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Watchdog names some of govt’s red tape-burdened agencies

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Registration Authority (LRA) have been identified as among the most red tape-ridden agencies in the first 100 days of ease of doing business (EoDB) law implementation, a government watchdog said.

Villar, Pacquiao still richest senators; Go, De Lima at the bottom

SENATORS CYNTHIA A. Villar and Emmanuel D. Pacquiao maintained their position as the wealthiest senators, while detained Senator Leila M. De Lima is the poorest among them.

Locsin suggests: Cut ‘offending scene’ in Abominable movie

UNLIKE VIETNAM’s order for a total pull-out of the computer-animated movie Abominable, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. has suggested cutting what he called the “offending scene,” which shows the nine-dash line claim of China in the South China Sea.

Measure restructuring PNOC-EC eyed in Senate

THE SENATE Energy Committee will push for a measure restructuring the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) following the suspension of its president and chief executive officer Pedro A. Aquino.

PHL-Indonesia boundary agreement touted as model for territorial disputes

SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III touted the Philippine and Indonesian governments’ boundary agreement as a model for settling territorial disputes.

Palace confirms order to remove PNOC-EC CEO

MALACAÑANG confirmed late Tuesday that President Rodrigo R. Duterte sought the resignation of Philippine National Oil Corporation-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) president and chief executive officer Pedro A. Aquino, Jr. due to “loss of confidence.”

DILG to continue investigation on ex-police chief

THE DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) probe on possible administrative charges against resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar D. Albayalde will push through, as opposed to Malacañang’s claim.

Lifting of bank secrecy ‘possible’ in the Senate

APPROVAL by early next year of the measure that will authorize government to look into bank accounts is “possible,” Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said on Monday.

Albayalde resigns amid drug ‘recycling’ probe

THE PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief stepped down from his post on Monday, weeks ahead of his retirement from the service amid allegations of his involvement in a case of illegal drug “recycling.”

DTI’s worst case for CITIRA job losses is 900,000

A TRADE official said his worst-case scenario for job losses resulting from incentive rationalization is 900,000, assuming a 100% pullout of manufacturing locators from economic zones.

Oil price rollbacks viewed as within the rules

THE fuel pricing practices of oil companies seem to be within the bounds of the rules, economists said, casting doubt on the Department of Energy’s investigation into the extent of the industry’s latest fuel price rollback.

Senate panel questions DoE electrification ‘lump-sum’ funding

THE Senate Committee on Finance on Thursday raised concerns over a lump-sum P1.1-billion subsidy for the electrification of sitios and barangays under the 2020 budget of the Department of Energy (DoE).

Another witness says Albayalde had a take from resold drugs

A NEW testimony in the Senate’s probe on the 2013 multi-million reselling of illegal drugs seized during police operations claims Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar D. Albayalde had a share from the transaction.

Nationwide round-up

THE SUPREME Court has again reminded the parties of Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. to refrain from discussing the electoral protest filed by the latter before the public.

Nationwide round-up

THE COMMITTEE on Justice and Human Rights will be presenting new evidence and witnesses in Wednesday’s continuing hearing on anomalies in the state penitentiary system, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said.

Revival of nuclear energy program faces uphill battle

IT WILL TAKE YEARS to revive a nuclear energy development program due to inadequate laws, skills and infrastructure, even as the country scrounges for more energy sources to support its fast-growing economy, a senator and an expert said on Monday.

Senate support for e-vehicle industry heralds showdown over incentives

THE Senate is consolidating five bills seeking to jump-start the electric vehicle industry, with subsidies for the sector the common theme of the legislation which a key Senator hopes will make it out of committee by next month.

Lawmakers cite priorities in remaining session days

THE P4.1-TRILLION proposed national budget for 2020 as well as remaining packages of the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) will take up much of lawmakers’ time when they return to work on Nov. 4 and before they take their Dec. 21-Jan. 19 Christmas-New Year break, key legislators said on Sunday.

Nationwide round-up

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) will be using a new IT system that will keep track of its medicine supply after the agency was flagged for more than P18 billion in undistributed drugs.

PHL to strengthen diplomatic ties in next 3 years — Duterte

THE Philippine government is looking into strengthening diplomatic ties with Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia in the next three years, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said.

Lacson: Albayalde should fast-track reinvestigate ninja cops before he retires

PHILIPPINE National Police Chief Oscar D. Albayalde has 34 days to make amends over his alleged attempt to halt the implimentation of an order dismissing 13 Pampanga policemen involved in a drug recycling scheme in 2013, said a senator. Mr. Albayalde is due to retire from service in November.

Nationwide round-up

National Police chief Oscar D. Albayalde had sought a halt to the dismissal of 13 rogue cops accused of recycling illegal drugs seized from legitimate police operations in 2013, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino told senators yesterday.

Senator says police chief should resign

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s police chief should consider quitting over his negligence as former Pampanga provincial director that had allowed a multi-million drug recycling scheme by rogue cops in 2013, Senator Richard J. Gordon said yesterday.

Budget forwarded to Senate amid House claims it is ‘pork-free’

THE House of Representatives on Tuesday transmitted the P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 to the Senate ahead of the a month-long break beginning Oct. 4, with senior legislators claiming that the spending plan is “pork-free” and invited the Senate to “see for themselves.”

PNP chief allegedly tried to stop rogue cops’ firing

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s police chief allegedly tried to stop the dismissal of 13 rogue cops who recycled illegal drugs in an illicit business that leads all the way to the Philippines’ national jail and several regional police offices.

Foreign Affairs told of Chinese ships near disputed South China Sea...

THE PHILIPPINE military has reported the unannounced entry of Chinese vessels near Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea to the Foreign Affairs department for appropriate diplomatic action, its newly appointed chief said yesterday.

Senate approves bill deferring 2020 polls

THE SENATE on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill postponing village and youth elections to December 5, 2022 from May next year.

Nationwide round-up

EIGHT convicts at the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City have asked the Supreme Court to void the rules implementing a law on the early-release of inmates for good conduct.

UN at risk for usurping state functions — Locsin

THE country’s top diplomat said multilateralism is threatened by its own vain attempts to usurp state functions and return the world to the anarchy of the pre-war period preceding the United Nations.

Senate seen to pass 2020 budget on time

THE Senate finance committee expects the P4.1-trillion national budget for next year to be approved on time, amid allegations of various “pork” insertions by congressmen.

US bill on Philippine ban illegal — Sotto

A BILL approved by a Senate committee in the United States that will bar Philippine officials involved in the detention of Senator Leila M. De Lima from entering the US is illegal, a senator said.

Malacañang warns against irregular fund allotments

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte will veto any funds in the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget that will be proven to have been allocated in an irregular manner, Malacañang said on Tuesday, adding that the President will “scrutinize” the budget as soon as it reaches his table.

Difficulties seen over tax reform differences

THE PROPOSAL to reduce the corporate income tax and overhaul fiscal incentives that was approved by the House of Representatives has some “unacceptable” provisions, a Senate leader said, Tuesday.

Senate presses on with Foreign Investment Act reform

THE SENATE Economic Affairs Committee is “catching up” in deliberations on proposed amendments to the decades-old Republic Act No. 7042, or the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) of 1991, the panel’s chairman said on Monday.

Senate says budget on track for year-end enactment

THE PROPOSED P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 is now comfortably on track for year-end enactment, following advanced approval of the spending plan last Friday at the House of Representatives, a Senate leader said last weekend.

Road user tax bill seen raising additional P8.12-B in first year

A MEASURE gradually increasing the road users’ tax filed in the House of Representatives is expected to generate P8.12 billion worth of revenue in the first year of implementation, a key legislator said.

Errors prompt DoJ to stop arresting convicts

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) has stopped re-arresting convicts illegally released for good conduct after spotting errors in the list of convicts submitted by the Bureau of Corrections, according to DoJ spokesman Markk Perete.

Top cops blamed for illicit drug trade inside jails

ROGUE COPS recycled illegal drugs after kidnapping Chinese drug lords for ransom in an illicit business that leads all the way to the Philippines’ national jail and several regional police offices, according to a former police general.

Nationwide round-up

A JOINT Senate committee has approved a bill seeking to set up a separate jail for felons convicted of heinous crimes.

Saudi Arabia says to restore oil output fully by end-Sept.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA -- Saudi Arabia will restore its lost oil production by the end of September and has managed to recover supplies to customers to the levels they were at prior to weekend attacks on its facilities by drawing from its huge oil inventories.

P9.97-B NEDA budget hurdles Senate finance committee

THE Senate finance committee on Wednesday approved the P9.97 billion budget of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for 2020.

Tax reforms make their way through Senate panel

THE MEASURE that will lower the corporate income tax to 20% by 2029 from 30% currently and remove redundant fiscal incentives has chances of hurdling the Senate within this first regular session, as the chamber’s Ways and Means committee began deliberations on Tuesday.

Senate to go through corporate tax reform with a ‘fine-toothed comb’

THE MEASURE that will reduce the corporate income tax rate to 20% by 2029 from 30% currently and overhaul fiscal incentives will go through a “fine-toothed comb” in the Senate, Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said on Monday, following the bill’s approval in the House of Representatives late last week.

Senate signals possible increase in OVP funding

THE SENATE finance committee will at least maintain the P673.019 million budget of the Office of the Vice President for 2020, with its chairman citing the possibility of a significant increase.

Senate needs more convincing on e-cigarette firms’ bid for separate tax

THE SENATE ways and means committee may still decide to tax electronic cigarettes at par with traditional tobacco products, depending on the findings that emerge about the products’ health risks, its chairman Senator Pilar Juliana S. Cayetano said.