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US lawmakers seek end to Philippine military aid

TWENTY-FIVE United States lawmakers have filed a bill that seeks to suspend police and military financial assistance to the Philippines as human rights violations are expected to worsen under the Southeast Asian nation’s expanded anti-terror law.

Anti-graft court failed to fast-track cases vs officials — World Bank

THE COUNTRY’S anti-graft court has failed to fast-track trials against high-ranking state officials in the past four decades partly due to limitations of the Philippine Ombudsman, according to the World Bank.

DoF cool to extending estate tax amnesty

THE Finance department wants to first see the results of the ongoing estate tax amnesty, which will end on May 31 next year, before Congress passes a measure extending it by another two years.

Bulacan airport’s 50-year franchise clears Senate panel

THE BILL granting a 50-year franchise to the San Miguel Aerocity, Inc.  on Wednesday hurdled the Senate Committee on Public Services, the panel chairperson said.

Nationwide round-up

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte will likely approve the health department’s recommendation of setting a price cap on RT-PCR testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

House power squabble risks delay in 2021 budget approval

A BREWING coup at the House of Representatives after some congressmen complained of an inequitable share in the P4.5-trillion national budget for next year threatens to delay the passage of the bill, some lawmakers said. “A power struggle in the House will affect our timeline, and I hope not because we’re still in the middle of the pandemic,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon told the ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday. “We have 10% unemployment and we’re expected to have a contraction in our economy, so a delay in the budget would be very critical,” he added.

Regional Updates (09/21/20)

THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (CHEd) said at least P1 billion is needed to fund three state universities, one in the Visayas and two in Mindanao, that will potentially offer a medicine program, its chairman said on Monday.

Manila to negotiate P12-M claim vs China ship

THE PHILIPPINES will discuss with China the payment for 22 Filipino fishermen who were abandoned at sea after their ship collided with a Chinese trawler in June last year, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Minority senators weigh in on EU lawmakers’ call

A call by European lawmakers for the Philippines to release a senator critical of the government shows her detention is baseless and politically motivated, according to opposition senators.

Philippines seeks help for stranded migrant workers

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has sent note verbales asking other countries to help stranded Filipino seafarers amid a coronavirus pandemic that has...

NEDA now more receptive to OFW Department

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Thursday that it is now “more open” to the creation of a new department for overseas...

Duterte wants business processes eased further

By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza President Rodrigo R. Duterte has asked Congress to further ease business transactions by amending a...

Agriculture sector fails to show improvement despite billions of pesos in...

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the agriculture sector has not shown improvements commensurate to the funding support it has received. “The observation...

Bill seeks to revamp PhilHealth after graft charges approved

A SENATOR has filed a bill seeking to reorganize the Philippine-Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) after President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved corruption charges against top officials.

DepEd’s P10-B voucher program held up

ABOUT half of the beneficiaries of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) voucher program are at risk after P10 billion of its proposed 2021 budget was classified as unprogrammed funds, a key official said on Wednesday.

Cash remittances hit 7-month high in July

CASH REMITTANCES reached a seven-month high in July, as land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFW) continued to support their families during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Nationwide round-up

Duterte takes a jab at pharmaceutical firms for ‘reservation fee’ on COVID-19 vaccine PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte took a jab at pharmaceutical companies from “western...

Nationwide round-up

THIRTEEN HOSPITALS have been given final approval for participation in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) solidarity trial on treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Procurement board planning rules to close vendor eligibility loopholes

THE Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) will clarify its rules on ineligible vendors after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) nearly procured medical supplies from a blacklisted entity.

Senate bill seeks to allow BSP to look into deposits

A MEASURE relaxing restrictions under the bank secrecy law to allow the central bank to look into deposits for possible fraudulent activities has been filed in the Senate.

US marine who killed Pinoy transgender sent home; lawyer says he...

THE PHILIPPINES on Sunday deported a US marine convicted in 2015 for killing a Filipino transgender and whom President Rodrigo R. Duterte had pardoned.

DFA says more than 42,500 OFWs came home last month

MORE than 42,500 migrant Filipino workers came home last month amid a coronavirus pandemic that has sickened 27.1 million and killed about 884,000 people worldwide, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

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DoF assures PhilHealth getting support to fund universal health care THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) and its attached agencies have been meeting with officials of...

Foreign borrowing for pandemic measures hits $8.83 billion

Foreign borrowing to fund pandemic-containment measures hit $8.83 billion in August, the Department of Finance said Friday. "As of the end of August, the Department...

Pag-IBIG sees loan levels returning to normal in Sept.

The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) said it expects loan approvals of as much as P6 billion in September after a shortfall during the...

DTI says online stores and complaints surged during virus lockdown

ONLINE business registrations and complaints surged after the government locked down Luzon starting in mid-March to contain a coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Senator bucks House special power plan to revamp Philhealth

A senator on Thursday rejected a House of Representatives proposal to give President Rodrigo. R. Duterte special powers to reorganize corruption-ridden Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Duque liable in PhilHealth mess for negligence, senators say

SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III on Wednesday asserted that the country’s health chief is liable, at least for abandonment or negligence, in the alleged widespread corruption in state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Senate warned of slow recovery if bad loan relief bill is...

ECONOMIC MANAGERS pressed the Senate on the urgency of legislation creating asset management companies (AMCs), saying that delays in enacting such a measure hampered the economy’s recovery from the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997.

Senate committee recommends charges vs top PhilHealth execs

THE SENATE committee that investigated the alleged widespread corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against those involved in irregularities, including top ranking officials. 

Nationwide round-up

Educators join opposition to anti-terrorism law EDUCATORS from various public and private institutions asked the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the law which expanded the...

On contracts with Chinese firms: Not easy to terminate

THE SENATE committee on foreign relations is ready to look into proposals to terminate existing contracts with Chinese companies that are involved in reclamation activities in the South China Sea, but its chairman noted that aborting signed deals is not that simple. 

Nationwide round-up

DoH warns vs posting COVID-19 patients’ names online THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) warned the public against posting names of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients...

Economic, political legacy of Japan’s Abe seen strong

THE RESIGNATION of Shinzo Abe as Japan’s prime minister may affect the Philippines’ foreign policy towards the United States and China as well as its loan availment in the long term, analysts said separately at the weekend.

P2.5-B aid released to OFWs — DoLE

ALMOST P2.5 billion in aid has been distributed to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the global coronavirus pandemic, according to the Labor department.

House bill filed supporting higher local gov’t budget

A PROPOSED law institutionalizing the Supreme Court ruling that grants a larger share of national revenues to local governments has been filed in the House of Representatives.

Senator joins call to lift deployment ban on nurses

A SENATOR on Thursday pushed for the lifting of the deployment ban imposed on healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic, which has mainly affected nurses who already have contracts for work overseas. 

DPWH, DoTr budgets get big boost

THE Budget department submitted to Congress on Tuesday the P4.506-trillion spending plan for 2021, where allocations for the Public Works and Transportation departments were increased significantly as the government hopes an aggressive infrastructure push will drive post-pandemic economic recovery.

Senate body seeks abolition of graft-saddled PhilHealth

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. should be abolished and replaced by a new agency through legislation, the Senate blue ribbon committee said in a report on Tuesday after a probe that exposed corruption among high-ranking officials.

Senator flags delay in OFW fund release

THE GOVERNMENT has failed to release about P29.8 million in coronavirus-related funding for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) as of June, according to a senator.

Palace: Duterte won’t give an inch of territory to other states

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte won’t give an inch of Philippine territory to other states, the presidential palace said on Monday after Manila protested alleged Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

Nationwide round-up

Bayanihan II bill expected at President’s desk by Tuesday THE PROPOSED second law covering response measures for the coronavirus crisis is expected to be received...

COVID-19 cases near 190,000; 2,998 dead

THE Department of Health reported 2,378 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 189,601.

Senate bill seeks to help gov’t banks lend more

A BILL has been filed in the Senate proposing to expand government financial institutions’ (GFIs) capacity to grant loans to enterprises hit by the pandemic.

Senator calls for review of OFW repatriation system

A SENATE RESOLUTION is seeking a review of the government’s handling of the repatriation program and other policies concerning returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).