P2.6-T national budget approved

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 09:34 p.m.

MANILA (Updated) -- The Senate approved on third and final reading Wednesday the P2.6-trillion proposed national budget in 2015.

Senate President Franklin Drilon approved the manifestation of Senator Edgardo Angara to pass the 2015 General Appropriations Act.

Estrada undergoes physical therapy

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 07:04 p.m.

DETAINED senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada underwent a physical therapy on Wednesday at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in San Juan City.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Public Affairs chief Wilben Mayor said Estrada left his jail in Camp Crame around 9:15 a.m. on-board a coaster.

Binay seeks P100-M increase on OFWs’ legal assistance fund

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 06:23 p.m.

SENATOR Nancy Binay sought to raise the legal assistance fund for overseas Filipino workers of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from P30 million to P100 million in the proposed national budget.

During the budget deliberation, Binay said P30-million is not enough even if the DFA uses up fund balances of previous years.

P24B allocated for Armm development

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 04:35 p.m.

THE budget of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) next year has been increased 24 percent to P24 billion, said Senator Francis Escudero, chairperson of the Senate committee on finance.

Escudero said the fund was allocated to respond to the needs of the community and push the much-needed development in the region.

Alleged NPA leader arrested

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 09:06 p.m.

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Friday a suspected leader of communist New People's Army (NPA) who is allegedly responsible in the killing of soldiers in Northern Samar, a police official said Tuesday.

Superintendent Danilo Macerin, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) chief, said Billy Morado alias Opal was arrested in his house in Phase 10 Barangay Bagong Silang in Caloocan City around 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Quarantined peacekeeper suffers from hypertension

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 04:02 p.m.

MANILA -- While playing basketball in Caballo Island, a quarantined Filipino peacekeeper experienced dizziness and nausea and is now being tested for Ebola virus.

Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson, said they have flown a second Filipino peacekeeper from Caballo Island, where 133 Filipino peacekeepers from Ebola-hit Liberia are under quarantine, to a Manila-based government hospital after he was diagnosed with hypertension.

SC upholds ouster of ER Ejercito

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 03:24 p.m.

MANILA -- Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito's bid to regain the post of Laguna governor was junked by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday.

Voting 12-0, the SC upheld the resolution of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in May ordering Ejercito's ouster for campaign overspending in last year's midterm polls.

Marcos questions DILG’s P13B budget for water supply, low cost housing

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 12:27 p.m.

SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. questioned the P12.9-billion errata allotment for water supply and low cost housing in the budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for 2015.

Marcos, chairperson of the Senate committee on local governments, asked the Department of Budget and Management why it appropriated the amount to DILG.

Senate to pass law on coco levy fund use early next year

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 12:09 p.m.

THE Senate will prioritize a bill that seeks to manage the disposition of the P100-billion coco levy fund in the first quarter of 2015, Senator Cynthia Villar said on Tuesday.

Villar said more than 3.5 million coconut farmers in the country will benefit from the proposed measure.

Albay lawmakers: Mayon evacuation ‘premature’

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 08:37 p.m.

ALBAY lawmakers criticized on Monday Governor Joey Salceda for allegedly "stage-managing" the Mayon evacuation last month.

At the hearing of the House committee on Bicol recovery, Albay Representatives Al Francis Bichara (second district), Edcel Lagman Jr. (first district) and Grex Lagman (third district) said Salceda has "exaggerated" the evacuation of the more than 12,000 residents in the province when the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Alert Level 4 over Mayon Volcano.

PNP: Criminals lurk on social networking sites

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 07:56 p.m.

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) warned the public against sharing personal information on social networking sites, which could jeopardize their privacy and security.

Senior Superintendent Rene Aspera, PNP- Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) chief of staff, said kidnapping syndicates have turned to social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in scouting for would-be victims.

Pope Francis’ postage stamps to be printed in 3D embossing – PHLPost

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 05:51 p.m.

THE Pope Francis Visit special postage stamps will be printed in 3D embossing and hot foil stamping coinage stamps, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) said Monday.

Josie dela Cruz, PHLPost postmaster general, said the pontiff's stamps will feature four designs created by professional and non-professional artists during the "Papal Visit Stamp" on the spot design contest held recently.

Recto: Teachers’ ‘chalk allowance’ to increase to P1,500 in 2015

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 04:28 p.m.

THE annual "chalk allowance" of public school teachers will increase from the current P1,000 to P1,500 next year, as part of Senate amendment in the 2015 national budget, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said Monday.

Recto, vice chairperson of the Senate finance committee, recommended a P1.021 billion 2015 budget for "Teaching Supplies Allowance," the official expenditure name of chalk allowance in the national budget.

Palace: Pacquiao a worthy role model

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 07:38 p.m.

BOXING champion Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao is a worthy role model and an inspiration to Filipinos, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace joins the Filipino nation in celebrating the triumph of Pacquiao over American Chris Algieri in his WBO welterweight title defense in Macau.

2009 massacre haunts Philippines as trial slows

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 05:44 p.m.

MANILA -- Five years after gunmen flagged down a convoy of cars in a southern Philippine province and massacred all 58 occupants, including scores of journalists, the body count continues to rise.

Just days before the Philippines marked Sunday's anniversary of the carnage with prayers and calls to end impunity, another potential witness in the ongoing trial against the politically powerful suspects was gunned down.

OFWs in West Africa may secretly return to PHL

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 05:43 p.m.

OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) from Ebola-hit West Africa would be willing to cheat their way back to the country to avoid being discriminated.

“We would lie and cheat on our way back to our country to avoid persecution and prosecution. We would [not disclose] the information that we came from a West African nation and we would be able to do what any normal OFW on furlough… eat, mingle, socialize,” said Migrante-Sierra Leone.

Government committed to serve justice to massacre victims

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 06:05 p.m.

MANILA -- As the Philippines marks on Sunday the fifth year anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre, Malacañang assured Saturday that it will continue to do everything in its power to serve justice to the families of the victims of the gruesome killings despite the mounting challenges.

Gov’t urged to fast track rehab of Malaya power plant

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 05:51 p.m.

A LAWMAKER has urged the national government to fast track the rehabilitation of the 650-megawatt (MW) Malaya power plant in Pililia, Rizal to allow the Aquino administration to efficiently respond to the looming shortage of supply of electricity early next year.

Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III, a member of the House committee on energy, said the 650 MW capacity of the Malaya power plant provides ample support to the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), which will be adopted by the government to address the power supply shortage in the summer of 2015.

House lawmakers confident of Pacquiao win

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 05:11 p.m.

MANILA -- The colleagues of Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao in the House of Representatives are confident the Sarangani lawmakers will triumph over undefeated American Chris Algieri in Macau on Sunday.

Drilon wants government to prioritize bike lanes in PH national roads

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 04:24 p.m.

SENATE President Franklin Drilon urged the local government units and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DSWD) to integrate bike lanes into national roads of the country.

Drilon said the government must promote biking and non-motorized forms of mobility, which is a means to reduce traffic and air pollution.

Drilon: ICC probe jeopardizing Iloilo’s Apec hosting

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 07:53 p.m.

DELAYS on the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) can only be blamed on the baseless allegations woven from Wikipedia articles and whispered rumors, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Friday.

Project delays will mean that Iloilo City will lose the opportunity to host the 2015 APEC Summit or Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings and the numerous job opportunities the project stands to generate, Drilon said.

MMDA bans roadworks starting December 15

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 07:35 p.m.

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will not allow road works and repairs from December 15 until January 5, to spare the motorists and commuters from heavy traffic congestion during Christmas holidays.

MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said that if ever there would still be unfinished roadworks during the said period, the contractors of the project through the DPWH will be asked to temporarily cover particularly the holes with steel plates so that the roads will still be passable.

Freeze ex-DOJ chief’s assets, Ombud asked

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 07:06 p.m.

THE Office of the Ombudsman has asked the anti-graft court to issue a writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment on the alleged ill-gotten wealth of former Justice secretary Hernando "Nani" Perez.

In a statement released Friday, Ombudsman Conchita Morales asked the Sandiganbayan to confiscate the Perez's assets and properties worth $2 million, which he illegally obtained after allegedly harassing and extorting money from businessman and former Manila representative Mario Crespo, more popularly known as Mark Jimenez.

House panel to consider Morales’ suggestions on BBL

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 06:29 p.m.

HOUSE Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Friday the ad hoc committee for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will consider the recommendations made by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on some provisions of the Bangsamoro Charter.

Belmonte said that the congressional panel will consider and include some oppositions made by Morales to the bill because some provisions might weaken the anti-graft body's constitutional and investigative power.

Legarda seeks culture-based vocational courses in Tesda

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 06:40 p.m.

SENATOR Loren Legarda urged the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to create culture-based vocational courses to support indigenous people (IPs) and promote the country's culture.

Legarda said the Tesda's Technical Vocation Education and Training offers better employment and livelihood opportunities for IPs but there is still a need to cater interest in traditional skills.

9 convicted for Ozone disco fire

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 05:24 p.m.

MANILA (3rd Update) -- The anti-graft court convicted nine people for graft Thursday over a 1996 nightclub fire that killed 162 people, mostly students celebrating the end of the school year.

Convicted by the Sandiganbayan fifth division were seven former city engineering officials of Quezon City and two operators of the Ozone disco.

Drilon urges government to step up information campaign on Ebola

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 03:25 p.m.

SENATE President Franklin Drilon called Thursday on the government to heighten the information campaign about Ebola.

Drilon said Filipinos should be informed on the nature and symptoms of the Ebola virus to avert panic and fear in the country.

AFP cancels media tour to Caballo Island

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 04:27 p.m.

MANILA -- The military's plan to bring members of the media to Caballo Island was called off Wednesday due to negative criticisms received by the recent visit of health and military officials to the quarantined Filipino peacekeepers from Liberia, an Ebola-stricken country.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gregorio Pio Catapang said he decided to cancel the trip to avoid more negative criticisms from the public following their trip to the island last weekend.

Recto: Budget format should be made easier to review

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 03:44 p.m.

SENATE President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said that the almost 6,000-page national budget bill has a weakness for not reporting what happened to the funds appropriated in the previous year.

Recto is pushing for "the installation of a rear view mirror on the national budget."

Bill seeking higher tax ceiling on bonuses passes 2nd reading

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 03:30 p.m.

THE Senate passed on second reading Tuesday a bill that seeks to raise the take-home pay of public and private employees.

Senate Bill 2437 of Senator Juan Edgardo Angara has been amended to raised the original exemption cap from P75,000 to P82,000 as proposed by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto.

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