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Cayetano meets with US counterpart, reaffirms security ties with US

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano and United States Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo reaffirmed the Philippines-US alliance when they met for the first time on Thursday, June 21, at the US State Department in Washington D.C.

Senators question PDEA plan for drug testing in schools

SENATORS on Friday questioned the plan of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to conduct mandatory drug testing for teachers and for students from Grade 4 and up, saying that ten-year-old Grade 4 students were too young to undergo such testing.

Senate panel to continue regional hearings on effects of TRAIN

THE Senate will hold another regional hearing in Mindanao next month to check whether the social mitigating measures under the tax reform law are being implemented by the government as promised, Senator Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares said on Friday.

Business groups want policy stability amid shift to federalism

SIX business groups have asked the government’s economic agencies to review the economic and budgetary implications of the change in government system to a federal structure.

Crime victimization drops 1 point in SWS Q1 survey

ABOUT 1.5 million Filipino families or 6.6% reported being victimized by common crimes within the past six months, which was one point below the estimated 1.7 million or 7.6% recorded in December 2017, according to a March survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Duterte signs bill on mental health into law

MALACAÑANG on Thursday announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law Republic Act (RA) No. 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law that mandates the government to provide basic mental health services to Filipinos.

Palace: More should be charged in DAP case

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s spokesman on Thursday said more personalities allied with the past administration should be charged in connection with the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program on the watch of then president Benigno S.C. Aquino III.

Roque: Bill on fake news unconstitutional

PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. on Wednesday said he opposes the passage of a bill penalizing government officials who create or spread fake news, saying the proposed measure may be used to target government officials in the opposition.

Senate hearing flags pace of Boracay cleanup

THE chairperson of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources expressed doubt that Boracay can be opened prior to its six-month period of rehabilitation, given its pace.

Most of Carpio’s suggestions on China ‘not feasible’ — Cayetano

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano on Thursday said most of the suggestions made by Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio and other personalities on how the Philippines should respond to China’ actions in South China Sea — especially on the incident in Scarborough shoal — were not feasible, while some were already being done by the government.

Report to US Congress flags China as threat

A TOP United States military official has raised concerns over China’s ongoing militarization in the South China Sea, saying China may challenge US presence in the region once it deploys its forces in its bases in the disputed waters.

Senate inquiry set on fares imposed by ride-hailing services

SENATOR Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the fare setting of ride-hailing services after the alleged unauthorized P2-per-minute of travel time imposed by Grab Philippines.

China to investigate Scarborough incident

THE CHINESE government on Monday said it is investigating the reported incident regarding Chinese Coast Guard members who were caught in a video taking the catch of Filipino fishermen in the waters of Scarborough Shoal.

Fishermen affirm Chinese ‘power’ on Scarborough

FISHERMEN PRESENTED at Malacañang on Monday affirmed by their own account Chinese control in the disputed waters, particularly surrounding Scarborough Shoal.

2018 report shows PHL keeping 82/100 score in law and order

SAFETY in the Philippines in 2017 was on a par with Australia, South Korea, and Iran, among other nations, in terms of law and order, results from the 2018 Global Law and Order report of research firm Gallup showed.

De Lima flags surge in IEDs

SENATOR LEILA M. De Lima on Monday raised concerns over the reported surge of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) being used by insurgent groups in Mindanao amid the implementation of martial law.

PHL’s top diplomat: ‘More gains’ with China under Duterte

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano on Sunday said the Philippines under the Duterte administration has more gains with China because of its “prudent and patient diplomatic approach” compared with the previous administration.

Lawmakers flag resistance in Mindanao to BBL

SENATE MAJORITY Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri on Thursday said he is expecting the constitutionality of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to be challenged before the Supreme Court (SC) once enacted, claiming that some political clans and groups wanted the proposed measure to be derailed.

Senator eyes energy options amid TRAIN costs

SENATE Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri on Monday said the government may look at alternatives, such as renewable energy and electric vehicles, to address the rising costs of fuel instead of suspending the excise tax on fuel.

Senator urges DoH Dengvaxia fund

SENATOR Richard J. Gordon on Monday urged the Department of Health (DoH) to allocate a special fund using its current budget to provide medical assistance to Dengvaxia-vaccinated children since the supplemental budget for the program has stalled in the Senate.

Legarda: Fortify ​trade while easing ​China tension​

SENATOR LOREN B. Legarda on Sunday said the Philippines should maximize its trade opportunities with China while it resolves political tensions over the latter’s increased militarization in the disputed South China Sea.

De Lima calls for inquiry on influx of Chinese workers in...

SENATOR LEILA M. De Lima has called for an investigation into the influx of Chinese nationals employed and residing in the Philippines, which she said has not only taken jobs from Filipinos but also triggered a property price surge in urban areas.

OFW in Slovakia killed after defending 2 harassed women

AN overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Slovakia died last Thursday days after being beaten up by Slovak nationals who were harassing two women, the...

Social security deal on Filipino, Japanese nationals in force Aug. 1

A SOCIAL SECURITY deal between Philippines and Japan will enter into force on Aug. 1 following the two countries’ exchange of diplomatic notes to provide both Filipino and Japanese nationals social security benefits in either country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Friday.

Palace issues EO on 911 emergency hotline

MALACAñANG on Friday, June 1, issued Executive Order No. 56 declaring the number 911 as the nationwide emergency hotline number and replacing the current Patrol 117 hotline network.

Senator calls for relief measures in line with TRAIN law

SENATOR Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares on Friday urged the government to implement the fuel vouchers, the additional 10% fare discount and other subsidies provided by the tax reform law amid the rising prices of goods and services.

Committee report on ‘endo’ bill released

SENATOR Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva late Wednesday released the committee report of the “endo” (end of contractualization) bill.

Senate approves its version of Bangsamoro Basic Law

By Camille A. Aguinaldo Congress has now approved the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, with Senate passing on third and final reading its version early Thursday. The House...

Duterte stands by Calida amid conflict-of-interest charge

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is standing by embattled Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida amid calls for his resignation over the controversy on the government contracts bagged by a security firm owned by the top government lawyer’s family.

Cayetano assures PHL upholding sovereignty before China

BRIEFING a House panel on the country’s diplomatic issues with China, Foreign Affairs secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said “several dozens” of protests have been filed by the administration over the past two years.

House approves on third and final reading Bangsamoro Basic Law

THE HOUSE of Representatives on Wednesday passed on third and final reading the substitute bill for House Bill 6475, the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Congress targets BBL’s enactment by SONA

LEADERS of Congress have agreed with President Rodrigo R. Duterte to have the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) signed into law before his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.

DoT, DAR chiefs confirmed

THE COMMISSION on Appointments is set to formally confirm the appointments of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Rualo Castriciones, and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Socorro B. Inting on Wednesday.

Inquiry bares unauthorized fund release to Health Dep’t in 2015

SOME P10.6 billion worth of funds meant for the health insurance coverage of senior citizens were transferred in 2015 to the Department of Health (DoH) without the knowledge of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

Senate approves on third and final reading bills converting LTO offices...

By Camille A. Aguinaldo The Senate on Monday, May 28, approved on third and final reading six bills converting the Land Transportation Office (LTO) extension...

Senate chooses firm to design Taguig site

By Camille A. Aguinaldo THE SENATE has chosen architectural firm AECOM to design the new Senate building to be constructed in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. AECOM...

Calida says he will ‘defend’ himself in proper forum amid calls...

TWO SENATORS on Monday called for the resignation of Solicitor General Jose C. Calida following reports on government contracts his family’s security firm bagged...

Senate approves bills granting franchise extension of four broadcasting firms

The Senate on Monday, May 28, approved on third and final reading bills granting the franchise extension of four broadcasting companies for 25 years,...

Remains of slain OFW in South Korea brought home

By Camille A. Aguinaldo THE remains of an overseas Filipino worker murdered in South Korea was returned to his family in Iloilo on Sunday, the...

Senator to push for farmers’ input in use of coconut levy...

By Camille A. Aguinaldo SENATOR Francis N. Pangilinan on Sunday said he will push for the original version of the coco levy trust fund bill,...

Senator seeks reduced exemptions from VAT and lower rate

By Camille A. Aguinaldo SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson on Sunday renewed his proposal to reduce exemptions from the value-added tax (VAT) and lower the VAT...

Senate finance committee to tackle Dengvaxia-related bills

THE SENATE committee on finance will hold on Monday a public hearing to discuss bills proposing to fund the medical needs of children who...

House leaders ask Palace to have BBL certified as urgent

By Charmaine A. Tadalan and Camille A. Aguinaldo MEANWHILE, the House of Representatives has officially requested President Rodrigo R. Duterte to certify as urgent the...

Pimentel to head four Senate committees

By Camille A. Aguinaldo THREE senate committee chairmanships await Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III following his resignation as the Senate’s leader, Senate President Vicente C....

Aquino calls for mechanism to suspend fuel excise taxes

SENATOR Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV on Wednesday said he wants a “reasonable mechanism” for suspending fuel excise taxes if inflation breaches certain thresholds,...