Duterte: 2017 a year of sorrow
President Duterte lamented how 2017 has become a year of “sorrow” with the onslaught of disasters and calamities that struck the country as the year is about to end.
The Philippines’ New Tax Reform Package Approved
On December 19, 2017, the Philippines’ much awaited tax reform package or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) was signed into law, paving the way for a simpler and fairer tax regime in the country.
— Asean Briefing
Duterte vetoes five TRAIN line items
President Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed five line items under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act in an effort to “ease the burden of the common taxpayers.”
— CNN Philippines
Bad loans rise at Philippines’ big banks in October
Bad loans on the books of the country’s biggest banks rose further in October, latest central bank data showed, amid the industry’s rising total lending portfolio.
‘PHL on course for tighter monetary policy in 2018’
While change has come for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, as seen in the transition of leadership from the two-termer BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. to the new Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., one thing remains unchanged for the Central Bank—its policy stance.
Philippines’ Smart boosts recruitment by bringing tech to schools
In 2002, Smart Communications, a wireless unit of Philippine telecom leader PLDT, was facing an exodus of engineers. Every month, an average of 75 staffers were resigning to work abroad, where salaries and benefits could be five times what they received in the Philippines.
— Nikkei Asian Review
Duterte allows BI to get salaries, overtime pay of employees from express lane fees
Taking “special note” of the plight of the bureau’s employees, President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the Bureau of Immigration to put collected express lane fees and charges into a “trust fund” for the payment of salaries and overtime of its employees.
DoF to strengthen local gov’t finances through tax reform
THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) is moving to further strengthen local government finances — this time including through tax reform — to reduce these units’ dependence on annual national government doleouts.
Philippines warned over impact of military operations
The ongoing militarization of Mindanao in the Philippines is having a massive and potentially irreversible impact on the human rights of some of the island’s indigenous Lumad communities, UN experts* have warned.
Martial law: Another deceptive SWS survey
How much do you agree with this statement: “Because the military reports continuing terrorist threats after its victory in Marawi, there is need to extend martial law in Mindanao beyond its end date of December 31, 2017”?
— The Manila Times
Jeepney phaseout begins January 2018
Beginning next week, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will remove jeepneys that are at least 15 years old from streets as part of the government’s transport modernization program.
Paolo’s resignation not yet final – Sara
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday said the resignation of her brother Paolo is not yet final since the President has yet to accept it.
— The Manila Times
China leader condoles with PH, vows aid to storm victims
CHINESE President Xi Jinping has extended condolences to President Rodrigo Duterte over the heavy casualties and material damage caused by Tropical Storm “Vinta” (international name “Tembin”) sweeping across parts of Mindanao over the past few days.
— Manila Standard
State-owned aerospace company to be abolished
State-owned Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. (PADC) will be abolished under a plan to trim the number of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).
— The Manila Times
23,755 families spending New Year at evacuation centers
Around 23,755 families or 111,641 individuals in eight regions are likely to spend New Year’s Day in evacuation centers after losing their homes to widespread flooding and landslides spawned by Tropical Storm Vinta.
Philippine army on full alert for possible communists’ attacks
Spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Colonel Edgard Arevalo said that the celebration of the CPP’s anniversary was usually accompanied by armed attacks of government forces by its armed wing, the New People’s Army which he described as the “true colour of the CPP and NPA” as a criminal organization despite their unilateral ceasefire declaration.
— Thai PBS
Duterte appoints Nicanor Faeldon to Office of Civil Defense
In detention for snubbing a Senate probe on the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu, resigned Bureau of Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon has a new job waiting for him at the Department of National Defense (DND).
Duterte allows BI to compensate employees using express lane funds
President Duterte has allowed the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to get the salaries and overtime pay of its employees from the Express Lane Funds (ELFs) and other charges, saying the overall protection of government employees remains to be one of his primordial concerns.
— Manila Bulletin
Teo: ‘Misconception’ of the Philippines a challenge to tourism
Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said negative global perception has been affecting tourism to the Philippine tourism despite it being in top consideration for foreign visitors.
War in Marawi, peace talks ended; illegal drugs campaign continues
President Duterte stepped into more controversial ground on May 2017 when he declared martial law in Mindanao to deal with the Daesh-inspired terrorists who laid siege in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur for five months.
— Manila Bulletin
Villagers struggle in aftermath of Philippines storm
The village of Dalama in the town of Tubod now looks like a dry riverbed, except for the few houses that managed to cling to their foundations – pieces of wood and concrete lodged in the sand among logs and boulders. Here and there, people sift through the debris hoping to find something of value.
— Al Jazeera
Aguirre: Official to shed light on NBI Dengvaxia probe
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II disclosed a government official is willing to cooperate in the ongoing probe into the controversial P3.5 billion dengue immunization program of the Department of Health (DOH).
— Update Philippines
Japan’s Hotel Okura to open first luxury outlet in Philippines in 2018
Japan’s Hotel Okura Co. will open its first luxury hotel in the Philippines next year as part of efforts to expand overseas, capitalizing on growing numbers of travelers to the Southeast Asian country.
— The Japan Times
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