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11 patients under examination for coronavirus

HEALTH AUTHORITIES have examined 11 patients for potential coronavirus infection amid an outbreak of a new strain that has killed dozens in China.

Classes in Taal-affected areas to resume Feb. 3 — DepEd

EDUCATION SECRETARY Leonor M. Briones has ordered the resumption of classes on Feb. 3 in areas affected by Taal Volcano’s eruption, following Sunday’s lowering of the alert level on the restive volcano.

Nationwide round-up

THE NEWLY-established Zero Hunger Task Force will be implementing its initial projects this year in 32 provinces across the country.

Region XII board issues order for P25 hike in minimum wage

PRIVATE SECTOR minimum wage workers in Region XII, also known as Soccsksargen, were granted an increase in wages nearly two years since their last wage hike.

POEA sets rules on Tripoli deployment

FILIPINO workers in Tripoli will be allowed to leave the country temporarily and return to their jobs later under certain conditions, amid a deployment ban.

Palace says process of ending VFA has started

THE Palace has said that the process of abolishing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States of America has begun, this after President Rodrigo R. Duterte called on the US to address a senate ally’s cancelled visa.

Taal refugees still need help says foundation

A NON-PROFIT organization Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) is calling on its member companies and other private sector entities to continue contributing aid to areas affected by the Taal volcano eruption, especially as help is not currently distributed evenly to all evacuation centers.

PHL talent competitiveness improves to 46th

THE Philippines ranked 46th globally in the competitiveness of its talent around the world, with Filipinos achieving their best performance in terms of global knowledge and skills, a business school said in a study.

Duterte gives go-ahead to review UP Technohub deal

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has given formal approval to initiate a review of an agreement to develop land owned by the University of the Philippines (UP), his spokesman said, adding to the list of allegedly one-sided deals entered into by past governments that has called into doubt the viability of long-term agreements undertaken by some of the country’s biggest firms.

Public-hospital staffing could be Universal Health Care’s biggest hurdle

NURSES are vital for the successful implementation of universal health care (UHC). The World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted the importance of investing in nurses to execute UHC properly. It’s a respected profession that has earned a reputation for also being largely overlooked, to the extent that many practitioners need to move overseas to earn a living.

Nationwide round-up

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte, in an interview with Russian TV network RT on Tuesday, said he is not going to the United States for the US-ASEAN Summit set in March despite an invitation from American President Donald Trump.

DPWH promising 20-30% cut in EDSA congestion in 2020

TWO road projects are expected to relieve Metro Manila’s main circumferential road, known as EDSA, of at least 20% of its vehicle load this year, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

Kaliwa Dam construction may not start this year due to documentary...

CONSTRUCTION OF the Kaliwa Dam, intended to serve as a medium-term water source for Metro Manila, may not start this year as the project has yet to comply with all requirements such as the consent from affected indigenous people communities, and defending the environmental clearance certificate (ECC), according to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s (MWSS) top official.

Duterte satisfaction rating hits record

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s satisfaction rating hit a record +72 in the past quarter, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll.

ALI says land deal ‘beneficial’ for UP but market fears persist

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) said it is open for a probe of its contract with the University of the Philippines (UP) for the UP-Ayala Land Technohub project following allegations of underpayment by Malacañang.

Boy in Cebu tests positive for coronavirus

A CHINESE boy traveling to Cebu City in central Philippines tested positive for coronavirus, days after Japan and Thailand confirmed their first case of infection from a new strain that originated in Wuhan, China, the Philippine Health department said on Tuesday.

Taal explosive eruption possible as gas builds up

THE NATION’S top seismologist on Monday warned of a sudden explosive eruption as gas continued to build up beneath Taal Volcano, one of the world’s smallest and deadliest.

Duterte calls on Congress to allocate more funds for evacuation centers

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Monday called on Congress to allocate more money to build evacuation centers in disaster-prone areas.

Duterte invited to US-Asean Summit

THE WHITE House has invited President Rodrigo R. Duterte to the upcoming United States-Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in March, the presidential palace said on Sunday.

33 Filipinos come home from Middle East

A TOTAL of 33 Filipino workers have been sent home from the Middle East, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said at the weekend, amid tensions between the US and Iran.

Retired Air Force chief to head PNOC-EC

FORMER PHILIPPINE Air Force (PAF) chief Lozzano D. Briguez, who retired from the post on Thursday, will be appointed to head the exploration arm of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC).

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President awaits report on alleged overpriced speed guns PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON Salavador S. Panelo said President Rodrigo R. Duterte will “act accordingly” after the Department of...

DoH freezes prices of medical goods in Batangas calamity zone

THE Department of Health (DoH) has ordered a price freeze on 218 medicines as well as other medical goods in Batangas province, following widespread panic-buying of N95 masks, which are rated for filtering out volcanic dust.

POEA bans all Kuwait OFW deployments

THE labor department said the agency regulating overseas labor has agreed to ban worker deployments to Kuwait after a dispute between the two countries over the circumstances surrounding a domestic worker’s death.

Duterte drug war is Philippines’ ‘gravest human rights concern’

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s “murderous war on drugs” remained the Philippines’ gravest human rights concern in 2019, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released on Wednesday.

More cops sent to Taal as residents try to return

MORE policemen will be deployed in Batangas province to maintain order, as some residents reportedly tried to return to their houses to save their livestock amid Taal Volcano’s continued restlessness, the country’s local government chief said on Tuesday.

Duterte bars PNP from ordering supplies, property

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte said he would take away the police’s procurement powers after the agency was said to have bought overpriced speed guns.

Duterte scraps request for Congress special session on Middle East crisis

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has taken back his request for Congress to call for a special session to discuss the Middle East crisis in view of the de-escalating tension between the United States and Iran, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo.

China backs drive vs gambling, says Pagcor

THE Philippines and China are working together to combat Chinese nationals involved in illegal offshore gaming operations in the country, the head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said, after President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave his assurance that Beijing is not meddling in local law enforcement.

Ashfall covers Metro Manila, stalls markets and travel

ASH from Taal Volcano in Batangas province covered large parts of Southern Luzon and cities near the capital on Monday, forcing financial markets to suspend trading and the Manila airport to close.

Congressman calls for national minimum wage hike

A CONGRESSMAN is pushing for a P650 national minimum wage, citing inflation concerns and inequitable salaries of workers in various regions.

Business leader says parking space owners responsible for security

BUSINESS SECTOR leader Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippine (ECOP), said parking space owners should be made liable for security breaches in vehicles after a lawmaker announced she will hold a probe on car break-ins.

3 airlines will help repatriate OFWs from the Middle East

THE country’s three major airlines — Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Philippines AirAsia — have committed to help the government in the repatriation of Filipinos working and living in the countries in the Middle East that are affected by the Iran-United States conflict.

Palace tells US government not to meddle in De Lima’s case

THE Palace on Friday warned the US government to keep from meddling with the Philippines’ justice system, adding that American lawmakers passing of a resolution barring certain Filipino officials involved in Senator Leila M. De Lima’s detention from entering the USA and freezing their assets is a form of “bullying.”

DoJ directs NBI to investigate ex-Batangas lawmaker’s death

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) issued an order directing the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the death of three people who were found charred inside a burning car in Quezon Province. One of the bodies is believed to be that of former Batangas 2nd District Representative Edgar Mendoza.

Voter registration to resume this month

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will resume voter registration later this month, ahead of the 2022 Presidential and National polls.

Shippers on call to help evacuate workers from Middle East

THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is ordering shipping companies with Philippine-flagged ships to prepare to assist in the repatriation of Filipino workers from the Middle East if the need arises.

President signs 2019 edition of Salary Standardization Law

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law the latest round of the Salary Standardization Law, which is expected to upgrade the pay of 1.4 million civil servants.

Iraq evacuation won’t be forced as tensions ease

THE Philippines will continue evacuating Filipinos from Iraq, which hosts several American military bases, even if the US and Iran seem to have pulled back from war, the presidential palace said on Thursday.

DoJ’s Guevarra urges water firms to accept ‘fair’ new contracts

JUSTICE SECRETARY Menardo I. Guevarra urged Metro Manila water concessionaires not to “play hardball” after President Rodrigo R. Duterte offered the service providers new agreements under threat of nationalization and possible plunder and fraud charges.

Veto-less budget message imposes conditions

THE NEWLY SIGNED 2020 national budget amounting to P4.1 trillion passed without any veto from President Rodrigo R. Duterte, though he imposed conditions on some spending items.

DBM sees cash-based budgeting improving spending performance

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it expects improved spending performance from the government on 2020 budget items, due to the cash-based budgeting system currently in force.

Duterte vows to jail officials for ‘onerous’ water deals

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday vowed to prosecute officials responsible for onerous provisions in the government’s contracts with water utilities.

Duterte offers new water contracts

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is offering new contracts to Metro Manila’s two water concessionaires, but warned the government will take over water distribution services and pursue charges against Manila Water Co., Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. should they reject the new terms and conditions.

Nationwide round-up

JOEL JOSEPH S. Marciano, Jr. will be leading the Philippine’s space program following his appointment as the first director general of the newly-established Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).