• By Czeriza Valencia, December 13, 2019; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/12/13/1976529/adb-approves-233-million-loan-improve-competition-environment Image Credit to Business World MANILA, Philippines — A $23.3-million loan has been extended by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to the Philippines to strengthen the capability of its institutions enforce the 2015 Philippine Competition Act. The “Capacity Building to Foster Competition Project,” which will be spearheaded by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), builds on the technical assistance provided by ADB since 2016 for the training of its staff on international best practices to stop and prevent anti-competitive practices. The loan will be repaid over a period of 28 years, Read More…

  • By Delon Porcalla and Paolo Romero, December 12, 2019; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/12/12/1976429/mwss-cancels-water-contract-extension Image Credit to The Philippine Star ‘What will happen to us?’ MANILA, Philippines — The government has revoked the extension of the contracts of the two Metro Manila water concessionaires from 2022 to 2037 – a move that the firms said yesterday has alarmed investors and jeopardized their financial viability, which could affect their services. Metro Manila’s west zone, has given up its compensation claim of nearly P4 billion from the government. Officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System had told a hearing at the House Read More…

  • By Joann Villanueva, December 11, 2019; Philippine News Agency https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1088521 Image Credit to Philippine News Agency Economic managers on Wednesday trimmed the range of growth target to 6 to 6.5 percent this year, and 6.5 to 7.5 percent for 2021-2022 partly due to fiscal prudence. In a briefing after the 177th Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) meeting at the Department of Finance (DOF) office in Manila Wednesday, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon attributed the “tighter” growth target band for this year to the below-target output in the first half of the year. “For the year, we’re actually Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, December 10, 2019 http://www.neda.gov.ph/neda-urges-improving-export-market-strategies-to-bolster-ph-trade-performance/ Image Credit to National Economic and Development Authority Exploring alternative production strategies, participating in international trade fairs, and implementing consistent branding strategies are needed to increase the presence of Philippine products in the global market, the National Economic and Development Authority said. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country’s total trade in October 2019 reached US$15.9 billion from US$15 billion in the previous month. The slight improvement was brought about by the positive growth rate in exports, but was 6.7 percent lower compared to the same period in Read More…

  • By Chito Chavez, December 9, 2019; Manila Bulletin https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/12/09/task-force-submits-2nd-set-of-proposed-constitutional-amendments-to-house-panel/ Image Credit to DILG 10 via PIA as cited by Manila Bulletin The Inter-Agency Task Force on Constitutional Reforms (Task Force CORE) insisted its proposed constitutional amendments will strengthen political parties as public institutions, prohibit turn-coatism (balimbing), make the anti-political dynasty provision of the Constitution self-executing, advocate for finance reform through the creation of a democracy fund, and extend the terms of local government officials to five years with one reelection. To achieve this, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and Spokesman Jonathan Malaya bared that members of Read More…

  • By Melissa Luz Lopez, November 29, 2019; CNN Philippines https://www.cnnphilippines.com/business/2019/11/29/NAIA-rehab-proposal.html Image Credit to Edwin Tuyay as cited by CNN Philippines Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — The plan to repair and upgrade the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) went a step closer to reality as it secured final approval from the government. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte gave the green light for the NAIA Rehabilitation Project on Friday, after several versions of the proposal. The NAIA Consortium — composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; Alliance Global Group, Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Decem,ber 2, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/senate-resolution-calls-for-probe-on-flagship-projects-china-funding/ Image Credit to Business World A RESOLUTION filed in the Senate calls for an inquiry on the implementation of infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program and its reliance on official development assistance (ODA), particularly from China. In Senate Resolution No. 221, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian noted that “the government’s flagship infrastructure program has been hounded by several issues, including delays in project implementation, onerous terms of the loans secured from China, as well as concerns about increased reliance on ODA loans with China.” Citing National Economic and Development Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, November 25, 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/11/25/neda-lists-priority-bills-for-last-3-yrs-of-duterte/ Image Credit to Philippine Star AT least a dozen bills are being eyed as priority legislation in the last three years of the Duterte administration to boost economic growth, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). In a recent presentation at the House of Representatives, Neda Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said the priority bills will be included in the updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the medium term socioeconomic blueprint. The priority bills include the land use bill for the agriculture sector; e-vehicles bill, industry sector; and open access in Read More…

  • By Daxim L. Lucas, November 14, 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/283321/adb-oks-300m-loan-for-ph-lgus-to-deliver-services-reduce-poverty Image Credit to Business World The Asian Development Bank has approved a $300-million loan to support efforts to help local government units nationwide deliver high-quality and accountable services, push progress and reduce poverty. In a statement, the Manila-based multilateral lender said the loan, which is part of its Local Governance Reform Program, will help local governments meet needs of citizens. It would also ensure delivery of basic services aligned with local nuances, improve revenue collection by local government units and lower costs of doing business for the private sector. Read More…

  • By Franco Luna, November 14, 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/11/14/1968764/mobility-czar-office-pursued-alleviate-mass-transport-crisis-encourage-public-transpo Image Credit to Miguel De Guzman, The Star MANILA, Philippines — Two Senate panels earlier this week pushed for the establishment of a now-approved “mobility czar” position to address the ongoing traffic crisis in Metro Manila. The holder of the position is tasked with proposing a comprehensive plan to decongest the roads of Manila, Cebu and Davao, as well as a separate long-term nationwide road map. According to the initial committee report, the mobility czar shall also “submit a monthly report to the COC on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Read More…

  • By Patricia Lourdes Viray, November 14, 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/11/14/1968744/duterte-scraps-pasig-river-rehab-body Image Credit to Michael Varcas, The Star MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has officially ordered the disestablishment of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC). The president earlier called on Congress to abolish the body as it no longer has a function to perform as there “is nothing to clean in the Pasig River.” Malacañang released a copy of the order dated November 8. Duterte signed Executive Order 83 abolishing the PRRC and transferring its powers to the Manila Bay Task Force, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department Read More…

  • By Keith A. Calayag, November 15, 2019; Daily Tribune https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2019/11/15/speaker-wants-infra-oversight/ Image Credit to Daily Tribune Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has a counter-offer to the proposed emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to push the flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program, which is the creation of a committee to be chaired by Tarlac Rep. Carlos “Charlie” Cojuangco to oversee the infrastructure buildup. Cayetano believes it is already too late in his term to give the President special powers. “I’m a believer in special powers. However, I’m going to give those members who filed the bill including (Albay) Congressman Joey Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, November 6, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/expanded-list-of-flagship-infra-projects-approved/ Image Credit to Samal LGU as cited by Business World THE REVISED list of 100 flagship infrastructure projects was approved by the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) and the Cabinet-level Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) yesterday, expanding the list to include private sector-initiated projects while dropping some works due to lack of feasibility. Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO and the presidential adviser for flagship programs Vivencio B. Dizon said that of the 100 projects, 26 projects will be financed through private-public partnership (PPP), against the eight such Read More…

  • By Chito Chavez, October 23, 2019; Manila Bulletin https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/10/23/380-lgus-get-dilgs-seal-of-good-local-governance/ Image Credit to Philippine Information Agency cited by Manila Bulletin Some 380 local government units (LGU) were accorded with the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), a coveted award given to localities that exhibit excellent governance and delivery of public service. Despite the more stringent assessment criteria, the DILG noted that the number of LGU passers this year is 44 percent more than last year’s 263. DILG Secretary Edurado M. Año said noted the LGUs’ improved performance considering that “this year’s standard was beefed up to challenge them to up their Read More…

  • By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 25, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/metro-manila-cities-top-lgu-competitiveness-ranking/ Image Credit to Business World QUEZON CITY dominated the annual list measuring the competitiveness of local government units (LGU) in the country for the fourth time, elevating the city to the Hall of Fame of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2019 released on Thursday. This year’s index was released during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. The rankings often reflect regions’ contributions to gross domestic product (GDP). The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that Metro Manila contributed the largest share to Read More…

  • By Gresheen Gift Libby, October 31, 2019; Cebu Daily News https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/267309/unesco-designates-cebu-as-creative-city-of-design Image Credit to Cebu Daily News CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu’s vibrant art community never fails to deliver world-class design as it becomes the second city in the Philippines, after Baguio, to be designated as a Creative City by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) last Wednesday, October 30, 2019. Cebu was announced as creative city of design along with 65 other cities from around the world. The Unesco website says that “the member cities that form part of the Network come from all continents and Read More…

  • By Mayen Jaymalin, October 29 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/10/29/1964245/3rd-polio-case-confirmed-maguindanao Image Credit to Agence France-Presse MANILA, Philippines — A four-year-old girl from Datu Piang, Maguindanao has been confirmed as the third polio case in the country since the reemergence of the disease after 19 years. “On Oct. 24, stool samples sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan tested positive for vaccine-derived poliovirus,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said yesterday. Duque said the case was genetically linked to the first confirmed case in Morogong, Lanao del Sur. He said the girl did not receive any dose of oral polio vaccine. Her case Read More…

  • By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/trade-dept-drafting-e-commerce-regulations-for-2022-road-map/ Image Credit to Reuters THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it concluded a technical assistance agreement with the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center, which will help put together its e-commerce industry plan. The law center’s input on regulating the industry forms part of the DTI’s drafting of the Philippine e-commerce road map to 2022. DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba and UP Law Dean Fides Cordero-Tan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the partnership on e-commerce policy, DTI said in a statement Monday. Under this partnership, Read More…

  • By Denise A. Valdez, October 29 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/central-bank-eyes-interest-rate-cap-for-lending-firms/ Image Credit to Business World THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas is considering the imposition of a cap on interest rates and other fees that lending and financing companies charge on consumer and payday loans, in response to a request by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a statement Monday, the country’s corporate regulator said it wrote to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno on Oct. 8, asking for a limit on interest rates, fees and other charges that lending and financing companies impose on borrowers. In that letter, SEC Chairman Read More…

  • By Alexis Romero and Edith Regalado, October 28 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/28/1963953/duterte-healthy-enough-attend-asean-meet Image Credit to Agence France-Presse MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is in good condition and healthy enough to push through with his trip to Thailand this week to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, Malacañang assured world leaders yesterday. Some world leaders have expressed concern over Duterte’s health after he fell off his motorcycle within the Presidential Security Group compound at Malacañang earlier this month. Speculations about the 74-year-old President’s health mounted after he cut short his trip to Japan due to what his officials described Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/economists-cite-state-spending-anchor-of-q3-gdp/ Image Credit to Business World FASTER third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth expected to be reported on Nov. 7 will bear the clear imprint of government efforts to catch up with its expenditure plan, state and private sector economists said last week, even as the increase in spending was smaller than a year ago. Preliminary data show that the national government spent about 16.99% more at P1.04 trillion in July-September from P886.19 billion a year earlier, although the increase was smaller than the year-ago 29.61%. At the same time, third Read More…

  • By Victor V. Saulon, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/regulator-looks-at-lower-price-cap-at-wesm/ Image Credit to Business World THE ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (ERC) is looking at a lower secondary price cap at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) — which accounts for about a tenth of the Manila Electric Co’s monthly supply — in a move to better minimize price spikes. The regulator is now looking at P4,502 per megawatt-hour (MWh) from P6,245/MWh in order to reflect current market conditions. In a draft resolution, which the ERC posted for industry feedback, the secondary price cap (SPC) will be imposed once the threshold 72-hour Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/congress-revives-push-for-better-land-use/ Image Credit to Business Mirror A MEASURE deemed priority by the current administration and business groups that will improve the use of land and resources has been filed anew in Congress. Senate Bills 38, 358, 510 and 886 that mandate the National Land Use Commission (NLUC) to draft a unified framework that will govern the use of land resources have been filed by Senators Francis N. Pangilinan, Risa N. Hontiveros, Pia S. Cayetano and Ramon B. Revilla, Jr., respectively. In his explanatory note, Mr. Pangilinan said the bill seeks to Read More…

  • By Lorenz S. Marasigan, October 24 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/24/dpwh-sets-dec-1-deadline-on-slex-work/ Image Credit to CNN Philippines PUBLIC Works (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar said the construction work on the extension of the South Luzon Expressway (Slex) should be completed by December 1, a critical milestone that is seen to ease the current traffic congestion along the thoroughfare. Currently, motorists experience traffic congestion along the northbound lane of the Slex due to the construction of the P10-billion extension of the Skyway System to Susana Heights. This triggered the closure of the outermost lane of the Skyway System’s Alabang viaduct, resulting in heavy Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice Rosales, October 24 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/24/pcc-to-conduct-probe-into-retail-prices-of-rice/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE country’s antitrust regulator is stepping up its investigation into anticompetitive practices in the rice sector that may be preventing retail prices from falling sharply under a deregulated trade regime. Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan on Wednesday said the agency is intensifying its examination of the possible collusion or abuse of dominant position within the rice sector. Competition officials are curious as to why the retail price of rice is not falling as fast as the farm-gate price of palay. Balisacan said Read More…

  • By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 24 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/outsourcing-firms-embark-on-upskilling/ Image Credit to Business World THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry is set to pilot educational programs to reskill and upskill 1 million workers over five years to adapt to automation. Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President and Chief Executive Officer Rey C. Untal said in an interview on Monday that he wants the industry’s upskilling program to exceed the 100,000 per year employment growth target. “Why one million? We also want to get ahead of the curve. We don’t want to Read More…

  • By Recto Mercene, October 23 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/23/locsin-rejects-bid-to-bring-arbitral-ruling-to-u-n/ Image Credit to Business Mirror FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. has rejected the notion of having the Philippines go back to the United Nations to relitigate the Hague arbitral award, saying those making the suggestion may be on the payroll of Chinese intelligence, “but paid peanuts.” In a tweet on Tuesday, the outspoken DFA chief said, “The Arbitral Award is money in our pocket. I have the strongest assurance on both points from Western intelligence.” At the same time, he denied allegations that former Supreme Court Justice Francis Jardeleza Read More…

  • By Roderick Abad, October 23 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/23/iskos-vow-illegal-vendors-cant-return-to-divisoria/ Image Credit to Business Mirror MANILA Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso warned illegal vendors that they cannot go back to the sidewalks of Divisoria and other areas he cleared from illicit trade to maintain their accessibility for public transport and pedestrian use in time for Christmas. “I guarantee you they are not allowed to return there. [It’s] no season for me. That kind of season is being abused already for so many times, for so many mayors,” he said in mixed Filipino and English during a networking forum held at the World Read More…

  • By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, October 23 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/farm-dept-maintains-2-growth-goal-despite-asf-impact-as-rcef-kicks-in/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) has maintained its 2019 growth target for the agriculture sector at two percent, as it launches operations using the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) seven months after Republic Act No. 11203, which liberalized rice importation, took effect. “We will maintain that target. Itong pagkaumpisa nag-implementasyon ng (The start of the implementation of) RCEF will be a big factor, reckoning from August 2019 to end of July 2020,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said in a briefing in Quezon City on Tuesday. Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, October 23 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/state-spending-short-despite-sept-boost/ Image Credit to Reuters STATE SPENDING rose by its fastest pace in almost a year and a half in September as the government rushed to make up for muted expenditures last semester, but even this boost was not able to ensure that the nine-month program was met, according to data the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) released on Tuesday. And with revenue collections growing by double-digit pace and a smaller year-to-date fiscal gap, the government also fell short of its programmed deficit. SPENDING National government expenditures jumped by 39.01% to Read More…

  • By Bianca Cuaresma, October 22 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/22/6-growth-for-phl-not-yet-impossible-expert/ Image Credit to Business Mirror CHASING the lower end of the government’s economic growth target for the year is still doable, a local economist said, especially if it lets out a “double dose” of stimulus in the second half of the year. In a recent assessment of the Philippine economy, ING Bank Manila economist Nicholas Antonio Mapa said despite the dismal gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the country in the first half of the year, the second half is shaping up to be a “different story.” “The budget delay coupled Read More…

  • By Luz Wendy T. Noble, October 21 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/national-id-issuance-to-begin-in-april-bangko-sentral-says/ Image Credit to Business World ISSUANCE of the national ID will start in April, providing free access to a universally-recognized government identification card that is expected to make opening bank accounts easier and increase financial inclusion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said. Production of the national ID, formally known as the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) program, is to be subsidized by the BSP, which hopes it will help reduce the numbers of the unbanked population, estimated by the World Bank at nearly 65% of the Read More…

  • By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, October 21 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/farm-lobby-threatens-lawsuits-to-force-rice-duties/ Image Credit to Philippine Star AN agribusiness association said it will sue to force the government to impose safeguard duties against imported rice, contending that the safeguard duty investigation process was improperly terminated. In a statement, the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. (PCAFI) said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the government’s economic team are “illegally” failing to protect farmers from foreign competition, and rejected as misleading their justification for not imposing additional duties to keep inflation in check. “This is a diversionary tactic to protect Read More…

  • By Alexis Romero, October 21 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/21/1961977/palace-opposes-two-year-workers-probationary-period Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is opposed to the bill seeking to extend workers’ maximum probationary period from six months to two years. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Duterte administration has always been against attempts to circumvent the six-month probationary period so it won’t support the proposal to lengthen it. He agreed with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who previously said his agency would recommend that the President veto the bill if it is passed by Congress because it may be abused by employers. “I agree Read More…

  • By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, October 21 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/sc-backs-court-inspection-in-competition-cases/ Image Credit to Business World THE Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the authority of commercial courts to issue inspection orders on any companies suspected of violating Republic Act 10667, or the Philippine Competition Act (PCA). In an en banc resolution, the high court said special commercial courts in Quezon City, the city of Manila, Makati City, Pasig City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Davao City and Cagayan De Oro City can issue inspection orders. The inspection order can be issued if the court finds reasonable grounds to suspect that the Read More…

  • By Philippine News Agency, October 21 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/21/infra-projects-spark-abaca-farmers-hope-in-leyte-village/ Image Credit to Business Mirror BURAUEN, Leyte—The development efforts of the provincial government in the upland village of Kagbana come as a big relief to abaca farmers who have been suffering the brunt of a decade-long disease infestation. Resident Reyniel de Paz, 32, said the ongoing road project and the recently completed hanging bridge funded by the local government are very helpful in bringing the abaca farmers’ products to traders in San Vicente village, which is 8 kilometers (km) away from their community. Carrying the abaca fiber to traders needs Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, October 21 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/21/neda-safeguard-duty-on-rice-to-boost-inflation/ Image Credit to Business Mirror Slapping safeguard duty on imported rice would increase the price of the staple and accelerate inflation, a senior official of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said over the weekend. Neda Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie G. Edillon told the BusinessMirror that inflation would rise by 20 basis points if traders will have to pay safeguard duty. This means that if inflation is at 1 percent, the additional tariff will hike the rate to 1.2 percent. However, Edillon said this is just a “conservative” estimate Read More…

  • 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…