• By Christina Mendez, October 17 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/17/1960932/duterte-expresses-utmost-disappointment-pnp Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police officials received a dressing down from President Duterte at a closed-door command conference Tuesday night, amid a controversy over the possible involvement of PNP officers and men in illegal drugs, an insider revealed yesterday. “The President has expressed his utmost disappointment at the PNP,” the insider told The STAR when sought for details on the outcome of Duterte’s late night meeting with top police officials. “Binigay na raw niya lahat, nag-involvement pa rin sa drugs (He has given them everything Read More…

  • By Emmanuel Tupas, October 17 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/17/1960935/internal-affairs-wants-break-away-pnp Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — With the Philippine National Police embroiled in a drug scandal, the PNP Internal Affairs Service wants the investigating agency to be separated from the police force to give the IAS more authority to prosecute police scalawags. IAS inspector general Alfegar Triambulo is lobbying Congress to amend Republic Act 8551 – the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act – to make IAS an independent body. To avoid duplication of work, Triambulo wants the powers of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) clipped, reducing it to a Read More…

  • By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, October 16 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/no-excuses-for-not-completing-2020-budget-cayetano-says/ Image Credit to Philippine Star SPEAKER Alan Peter S. Cayetano said Wednesday that the House of Representatives hopes to move forward on the 2020 budget, revenue bills, and other legislation covering the government’s socio-economic programs when Congressional sessions resume in November. When it meets again on Nov. 4, Mr. Cayetano said the chamber will work on fine-tuning the P4.1-trillion 2020 budget. “One is the budget, kasi whether you talk about agriculture, health, infrastructure, education, babagsak sa budget. Wala tayong excuse, we had all the time to discuss the budget. May isang buwan na during the break na nire-review pa Read More…

  • By Luz Wendy T. Noble, October 17 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/imf-sees-phl-growth-picking-up-this-semester/ Image Credit to Business World THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF), which on Tuesday slashed its Philippine economic growth projections further to 5.7% for this year and to 6.2% for 2020, nevertheless sees gross domestic product (GDP) expansion picking up this semester on the back of improved government spending, Yongzheng Yang, IMF resident representative to the Philippines, said in an e-mail on Wednesday. “The latest growth forecast takes into account the slower-than-expected growth outcome in the second quarter of 2019, which was partly due to the budget delay. In addition, Read More…

  • By Wendy Luz T. Noble, October 17 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/analysts-another-rrr-cut-still-possible/ Image Credit to Business World MANAGEABLE inflation paired with the still unremarkable loan growth could allow room for another slash in banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) towards yearend, economists said in interviews since last weekend. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno hinted last week that the central bank may consider another RRR cut after the 300-basis point (bp) total reduction, so far, this year depending on relevant data expected to be released in November and December. The latest 100-bp cut, to come into effect on Nov. Read More…

  • By Danessa Rivera, October 16 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/16/1960610/pnoc-ec-head-fired-over-russia-oil-deal Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) president and CEO Pedro Aquino was asked to resign by President Duterte, a government official has confirmed. Aquino himself said in a text message that he was asked to resign. The move reportedly stemmed from the approval of a memorandum of agreement with a Russian firm for the development of a multilateral cooperation in oil products and trading and joint participation in oil refining without the permission from the PNOC-EC board or from Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. Read More…

  • By Evelyn Macairan, October 16 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/16/1960619/sc-defers-decision-vp-poll-protest Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Instead of ruling on whether to proceed with the election protest of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo, the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday voted to give the Marcos camp a chance to include three provinces in Mindanao in his petition for a vote recount. Voting 11-2, the high tribunal also allowed the release to the two camps of copies of the committee report on the revision and appreciation of ballots in the three pilot provinces named in the protest: Read More…

  • By Jaime Laude, October 16 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/16/1960617/7-pma-cadets-face-court-martial-over-hazing-death Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — The seven cadets of the Philippine Military Academy indicted for the fatal hazing of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio will undergo court-martial proceedings, a senior official of the PMA said yesterday. The General Court Martial proceedings will be convened against the accused for violating Articles of War 97 or Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline, Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., PMA commandant of cadets, said. The seven are Cadets 3rd Class Shalimar Imperial, Felix Lumbag Jr., John Vincent Manalo, Julius Carlo Read More…

  • By Victor V. Saulon, October 15 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/power-reserves-adequate-on-malampaya-return/ Image Credit to Business World THE Department of Energy (DoE) said Tuesday that the Luzon grid will have enough reserve power tomorrow as it expects the Malampaya gas-to-power project, which fuels the country’s gas-fired power plants, to complete its maintenance shutdown. “We don’t see any yellow alert status for tomorrow because of the additional 1,620 MW [megawatts] from the natural gas plants,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella told reporters. He said the DoE expects Malampaya’s maintenance to have been completed Tuesday. He said once gas supply is available, the Read More…

  • By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, October 15 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/good-construction-weather-seen-as-key-to-achieving-6-growth-target/ Image Credit to Business World A SENIOR legislator said Tuesday that economic growth of 6% can still be achieved given good weather to ensure progress on key construction projects, after the World Bank reduced its 2019 estimates for Philipine gross domestic product (GDP). The World Bank last week cut its Philippine GDP growth forecast to 5.8% this year from the already-downgraded 6.4% forecast it gave in June. The government’s official target is 6-7%. Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr., who represents Camarines Sur’s second district, is Read More…

  • By Romina Cabrera, October 15 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/15/1960330/oic-gamboa-vows-policy-change-pnp Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Newly designated Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa vowed yesterday that there will be no letup in the administration’s war against illegal drugs, but there will be changes in policy under the new PNP leadership. Gamboa was appointed OIC after former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde went on leave following the controversy over his alleged protection of so-called “ninja cops” or policemen involved in the selling of seized illegal drugs. “Of course. No letup and a fair warning to all those Read More…

  • By Lino Dela Cruz and Sheila Crisostomo, October 15 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/15/1960327/second-round-polio-vaccination-kicks-off Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) kicked off yesterday the second round of supplemental door-to-door vaccination against polio in some parts of Mindanao and in the entire National Capital Region (NCR) to prevent the spread of the disease. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the synchronized vaccination is meant to boost the immunization coverage against polio by giving all children under five years old three doses of oral polio vaccine. He reiterated that full vaccination against poliovirus is the “best way to Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, October 14 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/train-revenue-beats-target-by-6-8-in-first-half/ Image Credit to Business Mirror FIRST HALF collections generated by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law amounted to P55.6 billion, up 65% year-on-year and exceeding the target by 6.8%, the Department of Finance (DoF) said. It said in a statement that the main generators of marginal revenue were the personal income tax, the petroleum excise tax, and the tobacco excise tax, among others. “The major gains were seen in the personal income tax, petroleum excise tax, sweetened beverage excise tax, tobacco excise tax, and the documentary stamp Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, October 15 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/lifting-of-bank-secrecy-possible-in-the-senate/ Image Credit to Business World 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. The Department of Finance (DoF) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) last week pushed anew for the easing of bank secrecy restrictions, a move that would help taxmen verify asset declarations of tax amnesty applicants as well as anti-corruption and money laundering investigations. BSP Gov. Benjamin E. Diokno had said he hopes the measure will be Read More…

  • By B. M. Laforga, October 15 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/cooperatives-in-taxmens-sights/ Image Credit to Business World THE GOVERNMENT has now turned its sights on nearly 30,000 registered cooperatives as it moves to plug tax leaks, the Finance department (DoF) said in a press release on Monday. According to the news statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to step up its audit of these organizations “to weed out those that have abused the tax incentives granted to them under the law,” after BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel SD. Guballa reported in a recent DoF Executive Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, October 13 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/dtis-worst-case-for-citira-job-losses-is-900000/ Image Credit to Business World 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. The job loss estimate, based on the scenario of a total manufacturing investor pullout, is 200,000 more than the projection of the Joint Foreign Chambers in the event incentives are rationalized under the proposed Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), in its current form. The Department of Finance (DoF) said in late September that CITIRA will ultimately Read More…

  • By Victor V. Saulon, October 14 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/biomass-devt-pushed-to-foreign-investors/ Image Credit to Business World/FREEPIK THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has opened biomass energy development to full foreign ownership to encourage growth of the sector that has lured only a few investors even after the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme gave them a fixed, subsidized rate for their power output. Marissa P. Cerezo, a director at the department’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB), said the DoE was working on immediate publication of the “omnibus guidelines” for the award and administration of renewable energy contracts, signed earlier this month by Energy Secretary Read More…

  • By L. W. T. Noble, October 14 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/bsp-boosts-watch-on-big-banks/ Image Credit to Business World THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) has enhanced its framework for watching banks deemed too big to fail, the monetary authority said in a press release on Saturday. The BSP said the approved “enhancements” to its framework for watching domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs) are designed to better determine how important a bank is to the health of the financial system. The new features which the BSP’s Monetary Board has approved include adoption of threshold levels and other revisions to weights of indicators and Read More…

  • By Louise Maureen Simeon, October 14 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/14/1960017/government-pay-more-asf-hog-deaths Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — The government is increasing the indemnity for raisers whose pigs are culled amid the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in the country. In a department bulletin, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said President Duterte approved his recommendation to increase the financial assistance during the last Cabinet meeting. “The increase will be from P3,000 to P5,000 per head. This means previous recipients will receive an additional P2,000 per culled pig,” Dar said. It was early this month when the Department of Agriculture (DA) Read More…

  • By Ralph Edwin Villanueva, October 10 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/10/1959004/illegal-bilibid-structures-demolished Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines – Prohibited drugs, sex toys and cell phones were among the items seized as shelters or kubol inside the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) were demolished by authorities yesterday. Elements of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO,) Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Department of Public Works and Highways and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) conducted the demolition. Joining the operation were members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Read More…

  • By Luz Wendy T. Noble, October 9 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/bsp-not-closing-doors-on-further-rrr-cuts/ Image Credit to Business World THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) could still cut banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) further towards December after a cumulative 300-basis-point reduction this year so far should relevant data warrant such move, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno signaled on Tuesday. Monetary authorities, however, are likely done for 2019 with cuts in benchmark interest rates that have totaled 75 bp, through 25bp equal cuts on May 9, Aug. 8 and Sept. 26, he added. Mr. Diokno told reporters on the sidelines of The Asset Philippine Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, October 10 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/10/hidden-costs-bribes-root-of-business-woes-neda/’ Image Credit to Business Mirror HIDDEN costs and under-the-table payments are the root causes of the dissatisfaction of businesses when availing of government frontline services in the Philippines, according to a study conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). In an impact evaluation of the implementation of the Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act (Arta) of 2007, Neda found that these costs include extra requirements and payments that are not specified in the Citizen’s Charter. Neda said clients are more satisfied when agencies innovate in their delivery Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice E. Rosales  & Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz, October 10 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/10/peza-chief-last-hurdle-to-citira-backs-reform/ Image Credit to Business Mirror IT’S over for industry groups. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) Board has decided to throw its support for the passage of the much-debated Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (Citira) bill to the dismay of economic zone firms. Trade Secretary and Peza Board Chairman Ramon M. Lopez on Wednesday called for a special board meeting to stress the importance of getting the Citira bill passed in Congress. The Citira bill, he said, has a mandate from Read More…

  • By Christina Mendez, October 9 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/09/1958727/transport-crisis-no-such-thing-says-palace Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday denied there was a transport crisis in Metro Manila, as claimed by sectors and lawmakers, amid the displacement of thousands of commuters due to the burgeoning traffic situation coupled with scaled down operations of the Light Rail Transit 2 which spans Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan station in Marikina. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo made the remark after Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the current situation of the mass transport system is already considered a crisis. “What do they Read More…

  • By Michael Punongbayan, October 9 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/09/1958739/sandigan-junks-another-wealth-case-vs-marcoses Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Another civil case accusing the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, former first lady Imelda Marcos and their alleged cronies of acquiring ill-gotten wealth from 1965 to 1986 was dismissed by the Sandiganbayan. In a decision handed down by the court’s Second Division on Sept. 25 but released to the media only recently, the magistrates ruled that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) failed to prove that the Marcoses and their alleged cronies – Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., Gliceria Tantoco, Maria Lourdes Read More…

  • By Evelyn Macairan, October 9 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/09/1958742/sc-defers-voting-marcos-robredo-case-anew Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), yesterday deferred for the second time issuing a ruling on the poll protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo. “For those inquiring, the PET did not take any action on the vice presidential election protest case during the tribunal’s session. The case remains pending and is still being deliberated by members of the tribunal,” SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said. As to when it would be Read More…

  • By Marlon Ramos, October 8 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1174684/senator-seeks-slex-toll-suspension-amid-traffic Image Credit to Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, Philippines — A toll holiday on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx). Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday made the suggestion to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) amid the daily traffic gridlock along the northbound portion of SLEx, the main artery connecting Metro Manila to Calabarzon. The “carmageddon” has been caused by the closure starting Sept. 24 of the outermost lane of SLEx’s at-grade level just after the Alabang exit in Muntinlupa to give way to the P10-billion, 6-kilometer extension of Skyway in Metro Manila’s Read More…

  • By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, October 7 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/house-panel-studying-5-tax-on-pogo-revenue/ Image Credit to Philippine Star REPRESENTATIVE Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, the Ways and Means committee chair from the second district of Albay, said the panel is studying his proposal to impose a 5% “franchise tax” on revenue generated by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). Mr. Salceda told BusinessWorld in chance remarks that such legislation is “pinag-aaralan at sinusulat (being studied and drafted)” but the basis for imposing the tax will be to reclassify POGOs as resident corporations. In a separate phone message, Mr. Salceda said: ”POGOs shall be registered as resident Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, October 8 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/08/bsp-supplying-116-million-national-id-cards-to-psa/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it will produce 116 million blank cards for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), or the National ID, in the next three years. The BSP said this is included in the memorandum of agreement (MOA) it forged with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Monday. The BSP said the “Phil IDs” are nontransferable cards to be issued to all Philippine citizens or resident aliens registered under the PhilSys. “The BSP is honored to sign the memorandum of agreement with PSA Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, October 8 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/08/dollar-reserves-at-record-high-in-september/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE country’s dollar reserves posted a new record high in September and again breached the $86-billion mark, according to preliminary data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday. BSP data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) rose to $86.16 billion in September, $130 million higher than the $86.03 billion recorded in end-August. “The increase in the GIR level month-on-month reflects the national government’s [NG] foreign-currency deposits and BSP’s income from its investments abroad,” BSP said. “However, the increase in reserves was Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice Rosales, October 8 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/08/trade-war-tones-down-exports-growth-outlook/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE government and exporters are in agreement export figures this year will end in the black, but the growth rate could settle between 2 percent and 3 percent due to the global slowdown in demand for Philippine-made items. Exporters are historically upbeat that orders will pick up starting October, as clients begin to buy in larger volumes to beef up their stocks in time for the Christmas season. Not this year, though, said Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. “Exports are really increasing Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, October 7 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/dof-oct-inflation-likely-still-below-1/ Image Credit to Business World OCTOBER INFLATION will likely still clock in below one percent, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in an e-mail to journalists two days after the government reported September inflation that was the weakest in more than three years, slowing from 2018’s multi-year highs. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday that headline inflation clocked in at 0.9%, matching the pace in May 2016 and the slowest clip since the 0.7% recorded in April that same year. That brought year-to-date inflation to 2.8%, compared to Read More…

  • By Roderick Abad, October 6 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/06/expanded-philhealth-coverage-for-stroke-needed-ssp/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE Stroke Society of the Philippines (SSP) is pushing for higher coverage by Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s (PhilHealth) for the treatment of patients who have suffered a stroke. This initiative, according to Prof. Dr. Jose Navarro, is their way of helping ease the burden of this second most common cause of death in the country, after heart disease. “The stroke prevalence in our country is about 1.2 percent to 1.4 percent. So what does it mean? For every hundred people in the community, you will see Read More…

  • By Samuel P. Medenilla, October 6 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/06/teachers-to-get-pay-hike-before-yearend-duterte/ Image Credit to Business Mirror PRESIDENT Duterte gave assurances on Sunday that public school teachers will be getting a pay hike within the year, but declined to give a specific amount or timeline. “It is coming. The increase . . . it will come out before the end of the year,” Duterte said in  a press conference in Davao after his recently concluded trip to Russia. Duterte said the pay hike may be substantially more than the current pay of teachers, as what some teacher’s groups are demanding, especially after the Read More…

  • By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, October 4 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/water-firms-appeal-sc-ruling-on-p1-8-b-fine/ Image Credit to Business World METRO MANILA’s water service concessionaires have asked the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling imposing fines totalling close to P2 billion against them and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS) for violations of Republic Act No. 9275, or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. The high court on Aug. 6 upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals that found the regulator and the concessionaires liable for violating Section 8 of the law. Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc. are Read More…

  • By Paolo Romero, October 4 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/04/1957316/senate-panel-jails-ninja-cop-chief Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — For “lying” and being “evasive,” the Senate yesterday cited in contempt a police officer who led the controversial raid in November 2013 in Pampanga where he and his men allegedly kept over 160 kilos of shabu taken from a trafficker and sold the drugs on the streets. Members of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee unanimously voted to detain police Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). Sen. Panfilo Lacson moved to have Baloyo cited in contempt after he insisted on Read More…

  • By Paolo Romero, October 4 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/04/1957305/pdea-chief-family-receiving-death-threats Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino disclosed yesterday that he and his family have been receiving death threats since he disclosed that there are some ranking police officers included in the operations of “ninja cops” who sell drugs seized during anti-drug operations. A teary-eyed Aquino made the disclosure at the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee inquiry into the involvement of police officials in the so-called recycling of confiscated shabu, when he clarified his previous statements on the controversial phone Read More…

  • By Evelyn Macairan, October 4 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/04/1957293/bersamin-no-vote-yet-vp-protest Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin yesterday refused to confirm or deny that the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), would likely vote 8-6 in favor of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and defeat Vice President Ma. Leonor Robredo in the vice presidential race in 2016. Bersamin was reacting to the column of Federico Pascual in The STAR titled “It’s 8-6 for Marcos in PET first round,” wherein the columnist wrote that the tribunal is “likely to deliver to ex-Sen. Bongbong Marcos.” “I do Read More…

  • By Victor V. Saulon, October 2 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/decision-on-exploration-bids-seen-in-30-days/ Image Credit to Business World THE Department of Energy (DoE) hopes to release within 30 days its final decision on the seven groups that bid for areas it offered for petroleum exploration, Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido said. “Hopefully within the next 30 days,” Mr. Pulido said at an economic briefing in Malacañang, referring to the final decision on the seven groups that bid in a contracting round that seeks to revive efforts to find another major energy source like Malampaya. Four entities bid for four out of the Read More…

  • By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 3 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/exporters-cautious-amid-global-gloom/ Image Credit to Business World PHILIPPINE merchandise exports face a “difficult recovery” ahead with no end in sight to Sino-US trade tensions that have prompted the World Trade Organization (WTO) to slash its forecast for global trade in goods. As the WTO on Wednesday cut its forecast on global merchandise trade growth to 1.2% this year from the 2.6% penciled in April, and to 2.7% in 2020 from 3.0%, Philippine government and private sector trade experts said they are cautious about the chances of the country’s goods in such an Read More…

  • By Alexis Romero, October 2 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/02/1956767/albayalde-im-government-employee-im-expendable Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Under fire for alleged links to rogue police officers, beleaguered Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said yesterday he was ready to be relieved of his post ahead of his retirement in November. “Remember I consider myself as expendable. I am a government employee, a public servant. I think all of us are expendable,” he said. Albayalde made the remark as he questioned the motive of his accuser, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in reviving the issue. He said Magalong had Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, October 1 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/padlocked-pogo-agrees-to-p1-3-b-settlement-to-lift-suspension/ Image Credit to Business World THE first offshore gaming firm to be shutdown over taxes owed to the government has agreed to pay a P1.3-billion settlement to resume operations, the Bureau of Internal Revenue said. Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp. (GEGAC), a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO), made an initial payment on Monday to lift its suspension. BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay told reporters that GEGAC paid an initial P250 million and was permitted to resume operations on condition that it will withhold taxes from employees and ensure they Read More…

  • By Bernadette D. Nicolas, October 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/02/police-dilg-asked-guard-mindanao-against-asf/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) sought the help of  the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in strictly enforcing the total ban on pork products from areas struck by African swine fever (ASF). In a letter to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, MinDA Chairman Emmanuel F. Piñol said the request was made “with urgency” following reports of hogs, pork and processed pork products still being shipped to Mindanao and the Visayas Read More…

  • By Bernadette D. Nicolas, Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz & Butch Fernandez, October 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/02/house-submits-p4-1-trillion-2020-budget-to-senate-for-scrutiny/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE House of Representatives on Tuesday formally submitted to the Senate the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020. Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales II said the Senate can now scrutinize the next year’s appropriations, which contained P9.5 billion in realignments as the lower chamber’s institutional amendments. “This morning the GAB was formally transmitted to the Senate. It will allow it to be included on First Reading for referral to their Finance Committee, which in turn can deliberate on Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, October 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/02/slow-inflation-spending-pickup-to-boost-growth/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE recent deceleration of inflation and recovery in government spending augured well for the economy and will likely boost GDP until next year, according to local economists. In the latest Market Call report, inflation in September likely hit 1.5 percent and this may have boosted growth to 6 percent in the third quarter and 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter. “The huge job gains, inflation expected to go below 1.5 percent by September, and the revival of NG spending augurs well for faster GDP growth in Read More…

  • By Louise Maureen Simeon, October 1 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/01/1956487/palace-tells-da-contain-asf Image Credit to Philippine Star Swine disease reaches Pangasinan barangay MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is nowhere near containing African swine fever (ASF) as the number of culled pigs increases and more areas are affected – with the province of Pangasinan being the latest to report the virus. President Duterte has ordered agencies  led by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to contain the spread of ASF after receiving reports of the new cases in Pangasinan. Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the government has already culled 20,000 pigs, higher than the Read More…

  • By Richmond Mercurio, October 1 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/01/1956484/no-stopping-jeepney-phaseout-dotr-chief Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the Duterte administration is bent on modernizing the country’s public transport and the government will push through with the replacement of old jeepneys and other public utility vehicles (PUVs) despite protests from various groups. “Past administrations wanted to modernize transportation, but every time people wave flags saying that the program is anti-poor, they take a step back. This has to stop,” Tugade said. PUV drivers and operators staged a transport strike yesterday to protest the proposed phaseout of Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice Rosales, October 1 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/01/pasay-city-reclamation-project-gets-pccs-nod/ Image Credit to Business Mirror IN a first, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has approved the joint venture between the city government of Pasay and Pasay Harbor City Corp. to reclaim a 265-hectare land in Pasay City. The approval paves the way for the Pasay local government unit to reclaim its municipal waters with the help of Pasay Harbor City, which will bankroll all raw land-reclamation works and expenses. According to the PCC, this is the first time it authorized a merger involving a local government as a party to the Read More…

  • By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, September 30 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/tussle-over-revenue-pits-uhc-vs-infrastructure/ Image Credit to Philippine Star LEGISLATORS have declared their intent to block the use of road tax revenue on health care, saying that the proper use of the proceeds is to maintain and improve infrastructure. Representative Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. of Camarines Sur’s second district, the author of a bill similar to the proposed Motor Vehicle Road User’s Tax Act currently being debated, said the proceeds from the tax should be dedicated to public works. If passed, the bill proposes to allocate 50% of road tax proceeds to Read More…

  • By V. A. C. Ferreras, October 1 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/house-body-zeroes-in-on-pogo-taxation-in-next-crackdown-phase/ Image Credit to Business World AS PART of an overall government bid to better track Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), the House of Representatives Ways and Means committee is drafting a bill that aims to make it easier to collect taxes from the sector. “… [T]he House Ways and Means committee has been studying the POGO situation… given the systemic risk it poses to the Philippine economy, in particular to the real property sector and the banking sector…” Albay 2nd District Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, committee chairman, told Read More…