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Sotto: Senate on the lookout for ‘lump-sum’ items in budget

THE SENATE will ensure that no lump-sum appropriations make it into the final version of the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said Wednesday, after the House of Representatives officially transmitted its budget bill to the chamber.

Senate measures to expand assistance to jobless workers

TWO bills seeking to expand government aid to jobless workers amid a coronavirus pandemic have been filed at the Senate.

Senate calls for rice, corn import curbs to prevent harvest season...

SENATORS asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to limit imports of staple foods during harvest season to address weak farmgate prices.

Senate about to finish budget hearings for Dec. approval

THE SENATE is likely to pass next year’s P4.5-trillion budget on time, after a leadership squabble at the House of Representatives nearly derailed debates on the spending plan aimed at helping the economy recover from a coronavirus pandemic, according to the head of the finance committee.

Senate to continue sessions earlier than scheduled on Nov. 9

THE SENATE will resume sessions on Nov. 9, a week earlier than scheduled to tackle the 2021 national budget and a tax reform bill that will cut corporate income tax and streamline fiscal incentives.

Gov’t to fast-track business permits as COVID-19 cases rise

THE PHILIPPINE Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading a bill giving President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to quicken permit and license approvals amid a coronavirus pandemic that has sickened almost 350,000 people.

Senate may call inquiry to discuss post-Malampaya plans

SENATORS said they want to look into the government’s plan for Malampaya, the Philippines’ sole natural gas field, which is expected to be depleted within the next few years, posing problems for energy security.

Senate OK’s bill allowing Duterte to fast-track permits

THE SENATE approved on second reading a bill giving President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to fast-track the issuance of permits and licenses amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lawmakers move to ensure budget passage

MEMBERS OF Congress, both in the Senate and House of Representatives, are taking steps to ensure the timely passage of the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 after the speakership row threatened to delay its enactment.

Current investors seek 5-year stay on removing incentives

BUSINESS GROUPS are asking for a five-year pause before tax reforms under the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) bill are applied to current investors.

Senate passes revised version of coco levy trust fund bill

A NEW VERSION of the measure establishing the P10-billion coconut levy fund was approved on third and final reading in the Senate Monday.

Senate panel debates red-tape curtailment powers beyond emergency period

A SENATE committee on Tuesday weighed the President’s legal authority to expedite the issuance of permits and sanction officials who fail to do so in deliberations over a bill seeking to endow the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) with the power to issue subpoenas or find respondents in contempt.

Senate panel OK’s foreign retailer rules

A PRIORITY measure aimed at further opening up the retail sector to foreign companies hurdled the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship on Monday, although a local retailers’ group warned this may further hurt micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) still reeling from the pandemic.

FIST measure hurdles Senate committee

THE Senate Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries on Monday approved the measure that will allow financial institutions to offload bad loans to asset management companies.

Senate bill seeks to empower Palace to expedite permits

A MEASURE authorizing President Rodrigo R. Duterte to expedite the issuance of permits and licenses at national and local levels has been filed in the Senate.

Enhanced protection, benefits for media workers eyed in Senate measure

A Senate measure is seeking to provide enhanced protection, security, benefits for the country’s media workers. Senate President Vicente Sotto’s Senate Bill No. 1820, otherwise...

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

After Bayanihan II, Senate to focus on CREATE bill

THE SENATE will begin deliberations next week on the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE), which will immediately cut corporate income tax to 25%.

Senate ends PhilHealth corruption probe

THE PHILIPPINE Senate ended its investigation of corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and has begun drafting a report that will be endorsed to anti-graft and prosecutorial agencies.

Senate backs separating measures for financial industry from Bayanihan II legislation

THE SENATE prefers to legislate pandemic relief measures specific to financial institutions separately from the Bayanihan II bill, as opposed to the House of Representatives’ more integrated proposal, Senator Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares said at an online briefing Wednesday.

Bill on SPVs to buy banks’ bad loans filed in Senate

A MEASURE providing for the establishment and regulation of special purpose vehicles (SPVs) that will acquire bad loans from financial institutions has been filed in the Senate.

Senate panel pledges timely passage of 2021 budget

THE Senate Committee on Finance has committed to pass on time the P4.5-trillion national budget, which is expected to sustain the government’s efforts to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate approves Bayanihan II on final reading

THE Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a measure touted as part of the government’s economic recovery plan.

Senate aims to start PhilHealth probe Monday

THE SENATE is aiming to start its investigation on alleged anomalies within the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) by next week with the goal of strengthening the National Health Insurance Act against corruption.

Senate to block Cha-Cha, plan to cut term limits

MOVES TO AMEND the 1987 Constitution amid a coronavirus pandemic won’t prosper in the Senate, an opposition lawmaker said on Sunday, warning of an alleged plot to delay the 2022 presidential elections and remove term limits.

Bill allowing sale of bad loans to asset management firms filed...

A measure allowing financial institutions to sell bad loans to asset management companies has been filed in the Senate as banks anticipate a rise in nonperforming assets.

Senate bill seeking COVID-19 funding from privatization of gov’t assets

A MEASURE expediting the privatization of government assets to raise funds for the coronavirus crisis has been filed in the Senate.

Senate to consider bill soon granting WFH tax deduction

A BILL due to be filed in the Senate will seek tax deductions for employees working from home (WFH), to compensate them for having to pay more for electricity.

Senate to legislate bad loan transfers from banks via separate bill

THE Senate will legislate bank bad loan transfers to asset management companies in a separate bill, rather than as an amendment to the Bayanihan 2 bill, the head of the chamber’s finance committee said Sunday.

Lending quotas for agriculture to be eased under Senate bill

A MEASURE amending the law setting quotas on bank lending to the agriculture and agrarian reform sectors has been filed in the Senate.

Court junks De Lima’s petition to join Senate proceedings online

A regional trial court has rejected Senator Leila M. De Lima’s petition to join Senate proceedings via teleconferencing from her cell in Camp Crame. “Allowing...

Senate to focus on Bayanihan law extension, no time to pass...

SENATE MAJORITY Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said that the Senate may not be able to pass all priority measures such as the economic stimulus act and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) before Congress adjourns next week due to the limited number of session days left, adding that the upper chamber will be prioritizing the bill extending the validity of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Law instead.

Former Senator Tessie Aquino-Oreta, 75

FORMER Senator Ma. Teresa Aquino-Oreta, sister of the late senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., has passed away, her son, Malabon Mayor Antolin A. Oreta lll said on Friday. She was 75.

DoJ, Senate back ABS-CBN operation

By Vann Marlo M. Villegas and Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporters THE Department of Justice (DoJ) stood by its position that ABS-CBN Corp. can still operate...

Despite extended ECQ, Congress will resume on May 4

CONGRESS will resume its session on May 4 even though President Rodrigo R. Duterte has extended the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region.

Senate eyes pro-poor measures

THE Senate is considering legislation on food subsidies to aid daily wage earners who have temporarily lost their jobs after President Rodrigo R. Duterte stopped work as part of a Luzon-wide lockdown to contain a novel coronavirus outbreak.

Bill on lockdowns filed at Senate

A SENATOR has filed a bill allowing the Bureau of Quarantine to impose lockdowns in selected areas amid the threat of a novel coronavirus outbreak.

Senate, House got ‘very good’ ratings last quarter — SWS

THE Senate and House of Representatives got “very good” net public satisfaction ratings of +62 and +51 in the past quarter, while the Supreme Court got a “good” rating of +49, according to the latest poll by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Jurisprudence on treaty termination sought by Senate

THE SENATE on Monday adopted a resolution asking the Supreme Court to come up with jurisprudence on whether President Rodrigo R. Duterte can end a treaty without Senate concurrence.

Senate approves changes to law against terrorism

THE Senate on Wednesday approved on final reading a bill that seeks to boost the government’s anti-terrorism thrust.

Senate panel sets hearing on ABS-CBN franchise

THE Senate Committee on Public Services will no longer wait for the transmittal of the bill on the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp. from the House of Representatives as it plans to begin deliberation of the application for renewal.