MALACANANG assured Saturday that government agencies have already made the necessary preparations for the school opening next month. In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Philippine National Police is ready to ensure peace and order as children go back to school this June. The Department of Trade and Industry has also launched a caravan that will sell cheap and safe school supplies, she said.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has ordered the revalidation of the damage caused by Typhoon Pablo as he met Task Force Pablo on Friday, Malacanang said Saturday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, said that the Chief Executive wanted to validate further the magnitude of the damage and the problems confronting Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, the two provinces devastated by Typhoon Pablo last December.
THE Philippine government will stick to using diplomatic solution in resolving the maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea with the renewed tensions in the Ayungin Shoal, a Palace official said on Saturday.
This as President Benigno Aquino III does not see the need yet to convene the National Security Council (NSC) nor a full Cabinet meeting to discuss the recent activities by Chinese military and fishing boats near Ayungin Shoal off Palawan province, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said during a radio interview.
MALACANANG urged Friday the public to believe more on the testimonials of real people on the beauty of the Philippines than on the fictional character of an American novelist describing Manila as "gates of hell."
"We trust that ordinary readers will give more weight to the testimonials of real people who have enjoyed their stay here in our beautiful country over the experiences of a fictional character whose narrative is written for maximum effect," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
GOVERNMENT agencies have been stopped by the Court of Appeals from cultivating genetically-modified eggplant because of its threats to human health and biodiversity.
The CA Special 13th Division issued a writ of kalikasan on May 17, which stopped respondents such as the Department of Agriculture from further conducting field trials of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) eggplant and tasked them to protect and rehabilitate areas affected by the experiment.
MANILA -- Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said her department is readying changes to the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act, which will be presented to lawmakers in the incoming 16th Congress.
De Lima refused to specify the "improvements" on Thursday but certainly the Department of Justice took cue from the consolidated petitions against Republic Act 10175, whose implementation has been blocked by the Supreme Court since October last year.
THE Department of Education (DepEd) reminded Friday all public schools nationwide to strictly adhere on the policy of no collection of fees during enrollment when school year 2013-2014 opens on June 3.
Based on DepEd Order 41 series of 2012, "Revised guidelines on the opening of classes," Education Secretary Armin Luistro has directed all school officials that no fees shall be collected from school children in kindergarten up to Grade 4 anytime during school year 2013-2014.
THE Philippine Army said it won't tolerate the wrongdoing of two of its personnel, assigned with the Presidential Security Group, who were arrested by the police on alleged robbery in Novaliches, Quezon City on Thursday.
Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, Army spokesman, said the Army leadership is supporting the ongoing investigation against Corporal Bobby Cepe Ates and Sergeant Marvin Gamba Gaton.
A MEMBER of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) on Friday called on the Aquino administration to add the proposed freedom of information (FOI) law to its priority list in the incoming 16th Congress.
Reelected Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr., a member of the House committee on public information, said the FOI bill is crucial to the government's campaign to eradicate graft and corruption.
THE Presidential Security Group (PSG) will cooperate in the investigation against two of its personnel who were accused of robbing an auto parts shop in Quezon City, Malacañang said Thursday.
In a press briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte confirmed that suspects Marvin Gaton and Bobby Atis were members of the PSG.
MANILA (Updated) -- President Benigno Aquino III has approved the P30-million "intelligence fund" of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which came from the agency's savings, Malacañang confirmed Thursday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino's approval of Comelec's intelligence fund is allowed under Section 59 of Republic Act No. 10352 or the General Appropriations Act of 2013.
MANILA - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes, on Thursday, lashed back at former colleague Gus Lagman questioning the latter’s motive of claiming to be the only one that returned the controversial “intelligence funds” for officials of the body. In an interview, Brillantes said he believes that Lagman is just out to salvage his name after the former had repeatedly questioned the latter’s credibility as a poll critic when he only served as Comelec commissioner for 10 months and did not have any achievements.
MANILA -- Reelected Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao remains the lone billionaire member of the House of Representatives with a net worth of P1.77 billion based on his 2012 filed statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
According to the summary report released by the House Secretary General, the Filipino boxing icon has P2.03 billion in total assets with real properties amounting to P1.04 billion and personal properties at 990 million.
PRIVATE colleges and universities that filed notices for tuition fee increases for this school year should work with the stakeholders in achieving a compromise acceptable to the public, Malacañang said Thursday.
In a news briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that academic institutions should observe the true essence of compliance to the rules by adhering to the outcome of consultations with different stakeholders.
THE Department of Finance (DOF) expressed support on Wednesday to the Board of Investments (BOI) to remove the income tax holiday (ITH) incentive to hotels and resorts in four major destinations in the country.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima issued the statement in response to the Open Letter to President Benigno Aquino III by the Philippine Hotel Federation, Inc. (PHFI), which appealed for the revocation of BOI Regulation No. 2013-001 pertaining to the grant of incentives for tourism accommodation establishments in Metro Manila, Cebu City, Mactan Island, and Boracay Island.
THE Aquino administration is committed to addressing poverty in the country through various initiatives and it is not solely relying on surveys as benchmarks for its interventions, a Palace official said Wednesday.
In a latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, it showed a rise on the number of hunger incidence in the country, from 16.3 percent in December to 19.2 percent this March.
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III has named new appointees to the court, central bank, and to an international body, a Palace official said Wednesday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a press briefing, said that the Chief Executive appointed Maria Belen Ringpis-Liban as Associate Justice of the Court of Tax Appeals replacing Olga Palanca-Enriquez.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has approved the allocation of initial P42 million to support the operational requirements of the 15-man Transition Commission, a body tasked to draft the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that of the total amount, P29 million has been released as cash.
(UPDATED) Fed up with successive setbacks at the Court of Appeals, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima wondered why the tribunal has been rejecting the department's resolutions on cases against the Reyes brothers, an employee of a housing developer, and an oil firm.
"Is the CA running out of justices?" de Lima said Wednesday, noting that two justices voted to reverse the finding of probable cause against murder suspects Joel and Mario Reyes and Christina Sagun, who was implicated in the syndicated estafa case on Globe Asiatique officials.
THE widow of the late Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo said Wednesday that she will prioritize measures geared towards improving the local government units in the House of Representatives.
"The potential of the local government is boundless, I want to focus on that because it is through the local government where we can guarantee efficient delivery of services," said Leni Robredo, the newly elected representative of the third district of Camarines Sur.
MANHUNT on murder suspect Cezar Mancao continues even as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is pre-occupied with probing the fatal shooting of a fisherman that has strained ties between the Philippines and Taiwan.
“He’s not our priority. We are prioritizing the Taiwanese incident. Mancao has been wasting people’s time and resources (for refusing to surrender),” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told reporters on Tuesday.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III declined Tuesday to hold as of the moment any talks on a fisheries agreement with Taiwan.
In an interview after attending the 115th Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Navy in Cavite City, Aquino said that the investigation on the killing of Hung Shi-chen, a Taiwanese fisherman, by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel, should be finished first before discussing any fisheries pact with Taipei and other countries.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III rejected anew on Tuesday calls to change the 1987 Constitution, particularly the economic provisions, to attract more investors into the country.
In an ambush interview in Cavite province, the Chief Executive said that his position not to amend the Charter remains.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has created an inter-agency task force that will implement reforms to make it easier to do business in the Philippines.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Tuesday said Aquino signed Administrative Order 38 for the creation of Task Force on Ease of Doing Business (EODB Task Force) in order to implement an action plan, which was drafted by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), to enhance the business competitiveness of the country.
SMUGGLING charges against the head of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. and a customs broker will not proceed in the next two months following a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals last May 9.
Acting on the petition filed by customs broker Jorlan Cabanes, the CA Special 10th Division noted Justice Secretary Leila de Lima reversed twin resolutions of prosecutors based on new issues and documents which were not presented by the Bureau of Customs in the original complaint.
MANILA – Senator Franklin Drilon called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to explain the low voter turnout for overseas absentee voting in the 2013 midterm polls.
"I hate to sound like a broken record, but I again deplore the dismal implementation of the absentee voting law in the just-concluded midterm elections," said Drilon, who was one of the principal sponsors of Republic Act 9189, or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act.
FORMER senator Juan Miguel Zubiri on Monday accepted his defeat after he failed to make it to the so-called "Magic 12" of the May 13 senatorial race and thanked the 11.7 people who voted for him.
"Now, it is time to move on. It is with great pride that I return to private life as a civilian, knowing what I have done, and that I have given everything I can to help our beloved country," he said.
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Monday that all but six local candidates have already been proclaimed by local board of canvassers. In a press briefing, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they have received reports that almost all local winners were already proclaimed. "It should be easily 99.99 percent tapos na (done) all over the country," said Brillantes. He said the six un-proclaimed local candidates are from areas where special election will still have to be conducted since the remaining votes will still be material in determining the winners.
SENATOR Franklin Drilon, who helped the Team PNoy coalition attain its nine-three victory in the senatorial race, said he does expect a reward for his hard work during the national campaign.
Drilon was the campaign manager of Team PNoy–a coalition of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), and the Nacionalista Party (NP).
MANILA -- The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) issued an advisory to Filipinos in Taiwan to avoid going out for their safety amid the anger by some Taiwanese nationals over the killing of their compatriot by the Philippine Coast Guard personnel.
In an interview over Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that Meco Executive Director Antonio Basilio has been in touch with the Filipino communities in Taiwan.