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Nationwide round-up

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

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THE House of Representatives ways and means committee will hold hearings on the risks of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), many of whom employ Chinese nationals, and decide whether they should stay in the country, according to Albay Rep. Joey S. Salceda.

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OPPOSITION Senator Franklin M. Drilon, a former justice secretary, expressed alarm and disappointment over the admission of Director General Aaron Aquino, chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), that recycling of illegal drugs is still rampant despite the administration’s bloody war on illegal drugs that has killed thousands.

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THE Sandiganbayan Third Division rejected the pleas of former Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and his son Junjun to suspend the graft case against them in connection with the overpriced Makati City Hall parking building.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) released P82.5 million to the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday to fund measures relating to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

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AS THE Senate discussed the proposed fifth round of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) on Tuesday, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian stressed the need to make government workers’ salaries at par with rates in the private sector to retain talent.

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THE PROPOSED Anti-Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE), could be considered a “class legislation,” making it unconstitutional, according to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III.

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THE SUPREME Court (SC) junked a lawyer’s petition seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the country.

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1 New Zealander, 2 Chinese arrested THE NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recently arrested three foreigners, one from New Zealand who is wanted in his...

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THE BUREAU of Treasury (BTr) on Thursday assured that it will be able to determine the source for the remaining P4 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) as early as next month, and that it will be released within the year.

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THE UNIVERSAL Health Care (UHC) Act, which automatically enrolls all Filipinos to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), will be rolled out only in 33 areas in 2020, the first year of implementation.

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THE GOVERNMENT is set to release P187 million for response measures, including contingency and biosecurity, on the still unidentified disease that killed hogs in parts of the country.

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PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Monday skipped the National Heroes’ Day commemoration rites because he was not feeling well, his former aide Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go says.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) on Thursday reiterated its position supporting the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) revocation of the certificate of product registration (CPR) for the Dengvaxia vaccine amid calls to lift the ban.

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FOOD-INSPIRED flavors used in e-liquid for vaporizers (vapes) and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) will be among those excluded from a list of allowed flavors that is planned to be released in September by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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FOUR RESPONDENTS in the sedition case before the Department of Justice (DoJ) asked the prosecution panel to disqualify the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) from representing the police during the preliminary investigation of their complaint.

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A LAWMAKER has filed a bill that aims to establish emergency and trauma facilities in tourism hubs in the country following recent reports of accidents involving tourists.

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THE CHAIRPERSON of the House committee on heath has filed a bill that prohibits the selling, serving, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages in all streets, sidewalks, parks, and parking areas.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has ordered GMA Network, Inc. to pay a P100,000 per day penalty after investigations showed that the broadcasting company failed to follow occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, which resulted to the death of veteran actor Eddie Garcia.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has released the guidelines on the issuance of a required document for retrenched employees who want to avail of unemployment insurance from the Social Security System.

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THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) has cancelled the nomination of former National Youth Commission chair Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema as Party-list Duterte Youth representative.

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MALACAÑANG ON Wednesday said it is open to the suggestion of former Health secretary and now Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette L. Garin to make the controversial Dengvaxia vaccines available to the public to help curb the increasing dengue cases nationwide.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG), following a directive from the President during his State of the Nation Address last week, has released a memorandum circular directing all local government units (LGUs) to clear all roads and sidewalks from obstructions, such as illegal vendors and illegally-parked vehicles. DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said the 60 days period given to officials starts July 29.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will soon release a formal directive to local government units (LGUs) to clear roads and sidewalks from obstructions within 60 days, and mayors who fail to do so could face suspension.

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LABOR SECRETARY Silvestre H. Bello III on Wednesday said he will be recommending that the collection of Social Security System (SSS) contributions from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) be made three months after the start of their job abroad.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has formed a five-member panel to handle the syndicated estafa complaint filed against officials of Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA) in connection with its alleged investment scam.

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HOG INDUSTRY stakeholders called for the immediate appointment of a new Agriculture secretary amid the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) and the threat of its entry into the Philippines.

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PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte, known for his colorful language and oftentimes controversial jokes, would be the first to follow the Bawal Bastos Law, which penalizes gender-based street harassment against women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

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MALACAÑANG ON Monday said the suggestion of critics to invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States as a response to China’s militarization in the West Philippine Sea is “absurd.”

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FISHERFOLK FROM Palawan and Zambales consented to the petition for Writ of Kalikasan from the Supreme Court (SC) which sought the protection of the country’s territories in the West Philippine Sea, lawyer Jose Manuel I. Diokno assured.

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THE ALLEGED manager of “Manga-Mura,” an illegal viewing Web site of Japanese cartoons or Manga, a fugitive wanted in Japan for copyright law infringement, was arrested last July 7 by the Bureau of Immigration.

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A GROUP of lawyers and registered voters asked the Supreme Court (SC) to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to strictly implement the term limit for members of Congress and local officials.

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THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday assured that state security forces do not have any plan of staging a coup d’ etat soon.

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A BILL banning political dynasties in government has been filed anew in the Senate by Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon.

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PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde said they are ready to arrest people who want to impeach the President if found that they have violated the law.

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PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has appointed Allan S. Iral as chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

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THE PHILIPPINE Trade Training Center (PTTC) announced on Monday that it will hold a series of workshops for local entrepreneurs during the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Week in July and ink agreements to further strengthen some local markets.

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday said he has promoted more army generals. In his speech during his visit to an infantry division of the Philippine Army in Samar on Wednesday night, Mr. Duterte said: “Marami akong pinirmahan...‘yong promotion.

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PhilHealth revokes WellMed’s accreditation OFFICER-IN-CHARGE Ruben John A. Basa of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) aid in a statement on Monday that his agency...

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UNICEF commends IRR on protecting children in armed conflict THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a statement said it commends the Philippine government in...

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Comelec: Broken seals of ballot boxes ‘accidental’ THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) assured the public on Monday that the broken seals on some boxes containing...

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MALACAÑANG ON Tuesday said former chief justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) “should file appropriate charges if they believe that the increases in the income of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s family are ill-gotten wealth.”

Nationwide round-up (03/22/19)

2,603 firearms confiscated under gun ban period THE PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) reported on Thursday that 2,603 firearms were confiscated from Jan. 13 to March...

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Pompeo to visit Manila Malacañang on Tuesday said US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is set to meet with President Rodrigo R. Duterte in...

Nationwide round-up

THE TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) launched on Wednesday its four-year technical-vocational program as its new director general, Isidro S. Lapeña, made his first official appearance as the agency’s head.