Latest Manila Bulletin Philippines Headline News Today

  • 2 hours House leader lays out airline recovery plan MB
    By Ellson Quismorio Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said Sunday (May 31) that the country’s leading air carriers – flag carrier Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia Philippines – might be forced to get new investors to help them survive the great financial crunch dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic. Surigao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Johnny Pimentel(FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “Our sense is, the best way for government to help our airlines is to create all the conditions and put in place all the precautions needed to hopefully allow them to slowly resume ... more
  • 2 hours PRRD thanks Bahrain ruler for bestowing royal pardon on 16 Filipinos MB
    By Genalyn Kabiling Sixteen Filipinos detained in Bahrain have been granted royal pardon and will soon return to the country, a Palace official announced Sunday (May 31). President Duterte has expressed his gratitude to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain for his “act of humanity” towards the Filipinos. (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN) “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte extends his deepest gratitude to His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa for granting Royal Pardon to 16 Filipinos in the Kingdom of Bahrain, including two who were pardoned on the occasion of Eid’l Fitr,” read a statement from the office ... more
  • 2 hours Solon pushes gov’t to test PDLs, personnel of jails for COVID-19 MB
    By Charissa Luci-Atienza Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Michael Defensor asked the government on Sunday (May 31) to aggressively conduct confirmatory testing on all inmates and correction officers who have manifested early COVID-19 symptoms, fearing there will be a “flare-up” of coronavirus cases in prisons. The chairman of the House committee on public accounts called on the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take “highly aggressive actions” to control the spread of COVID-19 in the country’s highly-congested detention facilities, as three persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) and three officers have died of the disease. “Nobody should be ... more
  • 2 hours DOLE gives cash, medical aid to over 81-K OFWs worldwide MB
    By Leslie Ann Aquino A total of 81,388 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic were provided with cash, food, and medical assistance by the Department of Labor and Employment through the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in 40 foreign posts. (MANILA BULLETIN) Labor Undersecretary Claro Arellano said 3,637 OFWs from Asia and the Pacific received food and medical relief, 66,271 from the Middle East and Africa, and 9,403 from Europe and Americas. As of Friday (May 29), the POLOs also distributed food packs to 28,179 OFWs in Kuwait, 9,358 in Jeddah, and 7,723 in Qatar. The POLOs ... more
  • 3 hours Poe appeals to Duterte to push gov’t agencies to address gap in internet infrastructure MB
    By Hannah Torregoza Senator Grace Poe on Sunday (May 31) urged President Duterte to mobilize all concerned national and local government agencies to ensure inclusive and reliable network connectivity to help boost online learning programs for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Grace Poe (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN) “We appeal to the President to put to task all sources or causes of delay in the construction of the necessary infrastructure to enable us to connect effectively with our students who are aspiring for better lives,” said Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services. “We need ... more
  • 3 hours Palace: Travel within NCR no problem MB
    By Argyll Geducos Malacañang said there’s no problem with making trips around Metro Manila for essential travel as the region shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday (June 1). (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN) Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement as 10 areas shift to GCQ from June 1 to June 15 while the rest of the country will be under modified GCQ (MGCQ), which is even more relaxed. In a radio interview on Sunday, Roque said making trips using a private car around Metro Manila was fine as long as it for essential purposes. But for ... more
  • 5 hours DOH urges public to report illegal medical facilities MB
    By Analou De Vera The Department of Health urged the public to report illegal medical facilities operating in the country amid the discovery of underground medical centers, mostly catering to Chinese nationals, that offer to treat those with symptoms related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (PNA / MANILA BULLETIN) “While we have not received any reports about clandestine hospitals for Filipino patients, we encourage everyone to report these unlicensed facilities because they endanger our health,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. The public was urged to seek medical attention at legitimate medical facilities to ensure ... more
  • 6 hours Galvez checks newly-built COVID-19 testing center in Laguna MB
    By Martin Sadongdong Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Action Plan (NAP) on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), inspected a newly built laboratory in Laguna on Saturday as he expressed appreciation to the private sector for its contributions to increase the national government’s testing capacity. (National Task Force against COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN) Galvez was accompanied by NAP deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon when they visited the automated reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory inside the compound of the Qualimed Hospital in Santa Rosa City. According to Galvez, the facility was certified a “biosafety level 2 laboratory” which ... more
  • 6 hours Reports of violation of anti-covid measures led cidg to illegal pogo in cavite, 92 foreigners arrested MB
    By Aaron Recueco Reports of local residents about the blatant violation of anti-coronavirus measures of a number of foreigners have led the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) in Bacoor, Cavite. Reports of local residents about the blatant violation of anti-coronavirus measures of a number of foreigners have led the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) in Bacoor, Cavite. (CIDG / MANILA BULLETIN) CIDG director Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said the operation in Mariche Apartelle in Barangay Mabolo 1 in Bacoor on Friday ... more
  • 6 hours Doctors with NTF call out DOH to work on backlogs, clearer communication MB
    By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz National Task Force (NTF) for COVID-19 special adviser Dr. Tony Leachon has urged the Department of Health (DOH) to set a clear deadline for the processing of data backlog to move forward with collecting real-time and granular data. (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “The DOH should set deadline for the sweeping of backlogs, e.g., one week. It should be done one-time reporting of backlogs then move to real-time/granular data,” Leachon said in a Twitter post on Sunday. He pointed out that real-time and granular or more detailed data are “critical to the next move ... more
  • 6 hours DILG: Quarantine passes not needed except in high-risk areas on selective lockdown during GCQ MB
    By Chito Chavez The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Sunday said that quarantine passes will no longer be needed when leaving the residence beginning June 1 in local government units (LGUs) under general community quarantine (GCQ) except in buffer and critical zones and areas considered to be still in high-risk novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) conditions. DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN) Earlier, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año explained that areas under selective lockdown have high cases of COVID-19 which will be referred to as critical zones while the adjacent barangays will be called contained zones. ... more
  • 6 hours PNP plans to set up testing centers in cebu, davao MB
    By Aaron Recuenco The Philippine National Police (PNP) is planning to set up two more testing centers for the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) for their men in the provinceS as the number of those infected by the coronavirus among policemen continue to increase. PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa (PNP / MANILA BULLETIN) PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said the location could be Cebu and Davao City, the areas where coronavirus infection is high based on the data from the Department of Health. “The determination of the location is on the degree of the infection so in Mindanao it’s Davao while ... more
  • 7 hours Barbers: Drug rings raring to go back to business MB
    By Ellson Quismorio Operators of the illegal drug trade will be back with a vengeance once several areas including Metro Manila switches to the more lax General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting Monday. Rep. Robert Ace Barbers (Photo from Ace Barbers website / MANILA BULLETIN) Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs gave this warning to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Sunday, the last day of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). “The drug trade will return with vengeance after hibernating for almost three months,” Barbers said, referring to the MECQ and ECQ ... more
  • 7 hours More places now under GCQ –Palace MB
    By Genalyn Kabiling The government cannot fight the new coronavirus disease alone and needs the public to cooperate with the quarantine protocols to contain the spread of the invisible enemy, Malacañang said Sunday. (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN) As the country’s lockdown measures are further relaxed to jumpstart the economy this month, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has rallied the nation not to waste the sacrifices made over the past few weeks and continue to observe health precautions such as mask-wearing and safe distancing in public. Starting June 1, the country will shift to the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) except ... more
  • 7 hours Parts of Luzon to experience power interruption starting June 1 MB
    By MB Online Parts of Luzon will experience scheduled power interruptions starting Monday, June 1, until Sunday, June 7, due to maintenance works. In an advisory, Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced that some barangays in the cities of Manila, Taguig, and Muntinlupa will experience power interruptions. The power cuts are due to preventive maintenance for upgrading,  installations, re-conductoring works, line reconstruction and conversion works, and replacement of electricity poles. Power interruptions will also affect some barangays in the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan. ... more
  • 8 hours More MRT-3 trains to be deployed –DOTr MB
    By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will be deploying more and faster trains running in the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) to compensate to the reduced passenger capacity starting Monday, June 1. Department of Transportation (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) From 15 train sets before the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), passengers will see 19 train sets running in MRT-3 when Metro Manila transitions into general community quarantine (GCQ). “Starting Monday, trains will no longer be 14 or 15. Nineteen will be used. In this way, the number of trips will increase, as well as ... more
  • 8 hours 1,698 SC officials, employees test negative for COVID-19 MB
    By Rey Panaligan None of the 1,698 Supreme Court (SC) personnel – five of them justices – tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Spokesman Brian Keith F. Hosaka said on May 31. Supreme Court (MANILA BULLETIN) Hosaka said the rapid tests that started last May 26 will continue until all of the 2,700 officials and employees have been tested as part of the SC’s complementary efforts to the government’s drive against COVID-19. Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta personally supervised the first day of rapid testing last May 26 in two medical tents set up at the two SC buildings ... more
  • 8 hours House leaders vow to pass anti-discrimination law this week MB
    By Charissa Luci-Atienza The House leadership vowed on Sunday, May 31 to pass this week on third and final reading a bill seeking to penalize any acts of discrimination against suspected, confirmed, and recovered COVID-19 patients, repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and healthcare workers, responders and service workers. House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO) House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez expressed the Lower Chamber’s commitment to ensure that all Filipinos, particularly health workers and repatriated OFWs will be protected against any physical, verbal, or psychological harassment amid the COVID-19 pandemic ... more
  • 8 hours Bicycle lanes should connect cities and towns–DILG MB
    By Chito Chavez The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Sunday urged all local government units (LGUs) to install bicycle lanes in their local roads as many workers are expected to use bicycles as they return to work on June 1, when Metro Manila will be under general community quarantine (GCQ). In an advisory, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año directed the provincial governors, city and municipal mayors to coordinate with neighboring LGUs to connect bicycle lanes and establish a bicycle road network. Año issued the call as many workers “resort to biking’’ on their way to work ... more
  • 9 hours MIAA gears up for flight operations on June 1 MB
    By Dhel Nazario As Metro Manila will be under General Community Quaratine (GCQ) on June 1, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) made sure that it is prepared for the expected resumption of domestic flights . According to MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal, domestic carriers have already expressed their intention to operate beginning June 1. WIth this, the MIAA will be determining the terminal usage depending on the number of flights that will be mounted. Only flights duly approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will be considered for slotting. Monreal has ordered all Terminal Managers to ... more
  • 9 hours Let couples ride motorbike together –lady solon MB
    By Ellson Quismorio A lady lawmaker has echoed appeals for the inter-agency task force (IATF) against COVID-19 to allow couples to ride together aboard a motorcycle in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and other areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). Like other lawmakers with the same call, Quezon City 2nd district Rep. Precious Castelo cited household realities as reason why these couples shouldn’t be barred from sitting close to each other on their own motorbike. “I think the government should not apply the ban on married couples riding together using their motorcycle as means of transportation in going to their workplaces ... more
  • 9 hours Cebu Pacific reopens with limited domestic flights MB
    By Dhel Nazario Cebu Pacific will be resuming with a limited number of domestic flights on June 2 while all international flights will still be suspended from June 1 to June 30. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “We will continue to work with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), as well as other national and local government authorities, on the rules and requirements to resume commercial passenger flights between areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ),” the airline said on Saturday. From June 2 to 4, they will be having flights from Manila to General Santos to Manila; from June 3 to 4, ... more
  • 9 hours DSWD appeals to public to use SAP cash subsidies judiciously MB
    By Charissa Luci-Atienza The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has appealed to the beneficiaries of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) who used their cash subsidy to gamble and engage in other illegal activities to stay away from their vices and prioritize the basic needs of their families. DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista reminded that the P5,000 to P8,000 emergency subsidy under SAP should not be used in illegal activities. “Pinapaalala ng DSWD na ang emergency subsidy ay binabahagi sa mahihirap na pamilya upang matugunan ang kanilang pangunahing pangangailan sa panahon ng krisis na ito. Iwaksi ang bisyo at bigyang prayoridad ... more
  • 9 hours DSWD directs LGUs to submit SAP liquidation reports MB
    By Charissa LLuci-Atienza The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) asked on Sunday, May 31 the local government units (LGUs) to urgently submit their liquidation reports and other documentary requirements, citing that it is “necessary” to complete the validation process before it begins the distribution of the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Department of Social Welfare and Development(MANILA BULLETIN) In a statement, the DSWD said it is “aware of the needs of low-income Filipino families whose members still cannot work due to the community quarantine and that its goal is to immediately deliver the second tranche ... more
  • 9 hours BIR reminds businesses of final tax payment deadlines MB
    By Jun Ramirez The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said business taxpayers with fiscal quarter ending January 31,2020 have until today to file the quarterly income tax return for the year. Bureau of Internal Revenue (MANILA BULLETIN) Likewise, corporations, partnerships and other non-individual taxpayers with fiscal quarter ending February 29, 2020 have until June 13 to submit the same and June 29 for those with first quarter ending March 31,2020. BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa issued the reminder as the deadlines, stressing the deadlines will no longer be extended together with other tax types enumerated in Revenue Regulations ... more
  • 10 hours BI asks public to stop spreading fake news MB
    By Jun Ramirez The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has appealed to the public to stop spreading fake news about arriving aliens despite the ongoing travel restrictions. Bureau of Immigration (MANILA BULLETIN) The call follows a viral post on social media that a flight from Wuhan, China, has landed the other day in Manila. The post, which was uploaded by a political page, garnered thousands of shares on Facebook. BI Commissioner Jaime Morente expressed his dismay at the resurgence of the fake news that is being used by anti-government groups for political propaganda. “This has already been addressed before, but apparently ... more
  • 10 hours DOTr mulls use of jeepneys, UV Express MB
    By MB Online The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Sunday said jeepneys and UV Express units may be allowed to operate in Metro Manila should the number of public utility vehicles (PUVs) serving the public from June 1 to 21 is not enough. “Kung hindi sufficient ang bus na ‘yan, ang next na titignan natin ay ‘yung mga modern jeepneys. Kapag hindi pa rin available ‘yang mga modern jeepneys na ‘yan, saka na lang tayo titingin kung may available na UV Express at lumang jeepneys,” Transport Assistant Secretary Mark De Leon said in an interview over DZBB. “‘Yung mga lumang ... more
  • 11 hours MMDA advises commuters to plan their trips MB
    By MB Online The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) advised commuters on Sunday to adjust their travel time as Metro Manila shifts to general community quarantine starting Monday, June 1. “Sa ating commuters, empower yourselves with information, kung saan po kayo sasakay at i-anticipate po ang delay. Kaya mag-adjust po tayo sa travel time natin,” MMDA Edsa traffic chief Bong Nebrija said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo. He said only two passengers per row will be allowed for private vehicles. “The basic rule is, you count the number of rows ng sasakyan; so each, row tig-dalawa lang po, dulo ... more
  • 11 hours Army’s 203 rd brigade in Mindoro has new commander MB
    By Jerry Alcayde CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The Philippine Army announced the recent appointment of Colonel Jose Augusto V. Villareal as the new commander of the 203 rd Brigade of PA based in Bansud, Oriental Mindoro. Villareal replaced Brigadier General Antonio Lastimado who was appointed as deputy commander of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM), which directs and orchestrates all military operations in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mimaropa (Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) and Bicol regions. Villareal, a native of Lanao del Sur and a graduate of Philippine Military Academy “Bigkis Lahi” Class of 1990, ... more
  • 11 hours Andanar slams NPA for burning houses, chapel in Misamis Oriental MB
    By Argyll Cyrus Geducos Communications Secretary Martin Andanar strongly denounced the “heinous act” of burning four houses and a chapel by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Limonda, Opol, Misamis Oriental on Thursday. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar (PCOO / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) In a statement, Andanar said destroying homes and a chapel was already an atrocity but doing it while the country grapples with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic was inhumane. “To destroy the properties and place of worship and to possibly endanger the lives of innocent people are dastardly acts by themselves, but ... more
  • 23 hours COVID-19 case tally hits 17,224 as DOH ‘aggressively’ deals with test backlog MB
    By Analou De Vera The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country crossed the 17,000-mark on Saturday night (May 30), the Department of Health (DOH) said. The DOH announced 590 additional confirmed cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases nationwide to 17,224. Of the additional cases, the DOH said 252 were “fresh cases” while the remaining 338 were referred to as “late cases.” The Health department said fresh cases refer to “test results that came out and were validated by the Epidemiology Bureau in the last three days.” Late cases, meanwhile, are from validation backlogs or are ... more
  • 23 hours Gov’t ready to open more airports to international flights MB |Biz
    By EMMIE V. ABADILLA Once the country transitions to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will expand international aviation gateways to include Clark, Cebu and Davao, Secretary Arthur Tugade announced in his presentation to President Rodrigo Duterte and the Cabinet on Thursday night. Every one or two weeks later, DOTr aims to open more international gateways, including Zamboanga, Iloilo, Bacolod and Bohol. As of press time, all international landing and take-off are concentrated at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals 1-4. While the mandate of the DOTr is to provide transportation, we are vested with the ... more
  • 23 hours Puregold profits increase 16.8% amid pandemic MB |Biz
    By James A. Loyola One of the few businesses to benefit from the pandemic, Puregold Price Club, Inc. (PGOLD) reported a 16.8 percent growth in consolidated net income to ₱1.76 billion in the first quarter of 2020 from the ₱1.51 billion in the same period last year. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Puregold said its stores registered stronger than expected same store sales growth (SSSG) of 14.4 percent in the first quarter of 2020 while S&R registered a SSSG of 5.1 percent during the same period. “Our SSSG in this period is driven by higher consumer spending ... more
  • 23 hours Money supply grows 13.3% to ₱13.1 trillion in March – BSP MB |Biz
    By Lee C. Chipongian The central bank said domestic liquidity (M3) expanded by 13.3 percent year-on-year in March to ₱13.1 trillion. Based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) initial data as of end-March, the latest M3 statistics recorded faster growth compared to February’s 10.9 percent. The month-on-month and seasonally adjusted M3 was up by 2.4 percent. MB file photo. “Demand for credit remained the principal driver of money supply growth,” said the BSP in a statement Friday. The BSP said domestic claims increased by 11.9 percent in March versus 10.3 percent in February because of the “sustained growth” in private ... more
  • 23 hours Lopez Group helps PGH expand testing capacity MB |Biz
    The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has accepted an offer from the Lopez Group to help the state university hospital increase 10 times its capability to test for the virus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Within the month, Lopez-controlled First Gen Corporation and ABS-CBN Corporation will complete an ongoing donation of ₱46 million worth of new machines and lab equipment that will expand the hospital’s COVID-19 testing capacity from 150 to 1,500 tests per shift. The donated equip¬ment will allow more automation and increase the volume of testing. Under a newly signed agreement between First Gen ... more
  • 23 hours DOE sets GCQ protocols for energy companies MB |Biz
    By Myrna M. Velasco As Metro Manila transitions to general community quarantine (GCQ) tomorrow, the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued protocols that its attached agencies and industry players would adhere to in the envisioned “new normal” in the energy sector. Through an Administrative Order (AO) issued by the department, it prescribed several parameters on how energy companies could gradually reopen or ramp up their operations after the more than two months of disruption because of the coronavirus pandemic. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. ( Source: Bloomberg TV) Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has directed the agency’s Task Force on Energy ... more
  • 1 day BOC, PDEA seize P3.4-M worth of shabu at airport before lockdown MB
      By Ariel Fernandez The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and several other government agencies seized more or less 500 grams of of a substance suspected to be shabu (crystal methamphetamine) at the airport facility on Domestic Road, Pasay City before quarantine was imposed. Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Customs District Collector Carmelita Talusan and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-NAIA head Gerald Javier said the substance was packed in two separate parcels at the LBC warehouse inside the general aviation area. The BOC, along with PDEA and the Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (IADITG), discovered the first parcel containing some 300 ... more
  • 1 day DSWD thanks COA for reducing red tape in SAP implementation MB
    By Charissa Luci-Atienza The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed its gratitude on Saturday (May 30) to the Commission on Audit (COA) for relaxing its rules and reducing its documentary requirements for fund transfers that will help expedite the second phase implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Department of Social Welfare and Development (MANILA BULLETIN) In a statement, the DSWD thanked COA Chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo “for granting our request due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic to extend the relaxing of the rules as embodied in COA Circular No. 2016-002.” The circular dated May 21, 2016 requires ... more
  • 1 day House passes on 2nd reading bill protecting rights of financial consumers MB
    By Ben Rosario The House of Representatives has passed on second reading a bill proposing to further protect the rights of financial consumers and safeguard them from investment fraud and other unfair practices. House of the Representatives (Facebook/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) House Bill (HB) No. 6768, or the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act, is expected to be passed on third and final reading before Congress adjourns session next week. HB 6768 consolidates legislative proposals filed by Reps. Junie Cua (NP, Quirino); Joey Sarte Salceda (PDP-Laban, Albay) and Ferdinand Hernandez (PDP-Laban, South Cotabato), among other authors. Under the ... more
  • 1 day House joint panel approves substitute bill allowing PRRD to set different date for school year MB
    By Charissa Luci-Atienza In less than four minutes, the House joint panel on Saturday (May 30) approved a substitute bill allowing President Duterte to set a different date for the start of the school year nationwide or in selected areas under a state of emergency. In a virtual online meeting, the House committee on basic education and culture, chaired by Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, and the House committee on higher and technical education, chaired by Baguio Rep. Mark Go jointly passed the unnumbered substitute bill, which seeks to amend Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7797 or “An ... more
  • 1 day DFA reports no new fatality among COVID-19 Filipino patients overseas MB
    By Betheena Unite The death toll from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among Filipinos abroad remained at 340 as no new fatalities were reported Saturday (May 30), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. Department of Foreign Affairs (MANILA BULLETIN) The number of COVID-19 cases among Filipinos overseas rose to 2,869 as 24 new cases were confirmed on the same day. Recoveries, on the other hand, grew to 975 with 28 new recoveries among the nationals abroad. The newly recovered patients, according to the Foreign Service Posts, are mostly from the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. “The latest figures continue ... more
  • 1 day SC asked to dismiss petition for Amparo, Habeas Corpus VS Anakbayan MB
    By Jeffrey Damicog The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday (May 30) has been asked to dismiss the petition seeking the issuance of writs of amparo and habeas corpus that would compel youth group Anakbayan to hand over alleged kidnapped youth Alicia Jasper “AJ” Lucena to her parents as well as to stay away from the family. Supreme Court of the Philippines (MANILA BULLETIN) “The subject petition is as barren as winter rain,” read the pleading filed by the National Union People’s Lawyers (NUPL) on behalf of its clients, respondent Anakbayan members Joayroven Balais, Chary Delos Reyes, and Bianca Gacos. “It ... more
  • 1 day US businesses awake to ‘sad day’ in Hong Kong as Trump moves to squeeze economic ties MB |Biz
    By Reuters HONG KONG – The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said on Saturday it was a sad day for the global financial centre, hours after US President Donald Trump moved toward stripping the city of its special treatment in a bid to punish China. Hong Kong skyline (Manila Bulletin file photo In some of his toughest rhetoric yet, Trump said Beijing had broken its word over Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy by proposing new national security legislation and the territory no longer warranted U.S. economic privileges. “We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment ... more
  • 1 day De Lima incommunicado for over a month; group demands lifting of her visit restrictions MB
    By Mario Casayuran Detained opposition senator Leila de Lima confirmed reports on Saturday (May 30) that for more than a month, and except for the custodial personnel, no one, not even family members and staff, had seen or spoken to her. Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS) This is due, De Lima said, to the strict “no access, no visitors” policy enforced since April 25 at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Quezon City under enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ or MECQ.) “Our repeated requests for the relaxation of the strict policy through grant of ... more
  • 1 day Brazilian judge suspends Neymar’s fine payment to tax authorities MB |Sports
    By Agence France-Presse A Brazilian judge has suspended Neymar’s payment of a fine of 88 million reais ($16.28 million) to tax authorities for irregularities, notably in connection with his transfer to Barcelona in 2013. In this file photo taken on December 4, 2019, Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar, left, is congratulated by French forward Kylian Mbappe (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) The judge, Decio Gabriel Gimenez, at a court in Sao Paulo, suspended the payment of the fine “until further notice”, on the grounds that the exact amount due to be paid by Neymar was not clarified. According to ... more
  • 1 day DENR: Environment Month celebrations to be held online MB
    By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz For the first time in three decades, the Philippines will be shifting to an all-digital celebration of Environment Month in light of the continuing threat posed by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Saturday (May 30) said it has decided to move all its activities online for the annual event held in June in adherence to physical distancing and quarantine measures. DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said the month-long celebration should serve as an opportunity to reflect on the importance of a cleaner environment as people around the world start adapting ... more
  • 1 day NBI assigns investigators to probe firm in overpricing allegations MB
    By Jeff Damicog The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has confirmed that investigators have been assigned to conduct a probe against a firm which President Duterte ordered investigated over allegations of selling overpriced test kits and equipment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) (MANILA BULLETIN) “Nasa Anti-Graft ‘yung kaso (The case is with the NBI’s Anti-Graft Division),” NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said on Saturday (May 30). Earlier, Duterte ordered the NBI to investigate the owners of Omnibus Bio-Medical Systems Inc. The President gave the directive due to allegations that the firm has been selling overpriced testing ... more
  • 1 day Solon slams NGCP for demanding P3.2-B increase in billing MB
    By Ben Rosario Deputy Speaker and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez has decried as “unsconscionable” the move by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to demand a P3.2 billion increase in its billing for services this year. Congressman Dan Fernandez (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN) Fernandez threw this criticism at NGCP after officials of the country’s power grid operators defended their demand for an additional P3.2 billion in interim maximum annual revenue (IMAR) for 2020. In a virtual legislative hearing conducted by the House committee on good government, Fernandez said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has granted NGCP’s request for ... more
  • 1 day Pangilinan doubts gov’t can justify ‘overpriced’ COVID-19 supplies buy MB
    By Vanne Terrazola Senator Francis Pangilinan doubts that the Duterte administration will be able to properly justify its procurement of “overpriced” testing supplies and equipment for COVID-19. Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (Photo from Kiko Pangilinan website / / MANILA BULLETIN) Pangilinan, in a social media post on Saturday (May 30), took a swipe at President Duterte who earlier assured the release of a report on the purchase of supplies and equipment for the Department of Health (DOH) to quell allegations of misuse of public funds. “Maipapaliwanag daw ‘yong overpriced na testing machines at testing kits (They can explain the ... more
  • 1 day Palace: We’re giving OFWs VIP treatment MB
    By Argyll Geducos Malacañang took exception to criticism that the government has been treating overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) like “garbage” while trying to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement as labor group Migrante International said the Duterte administration should stop giving “garbage-like” treatment to OFWs affected by the quarantine. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN) In an interview over state-run PTV-4, Roque insisted that the government is giving OFWs “VIP treatment.” “Inuwi po natin lahat ng manggagawa natin. Binigyan namin ng libreng PCR testing, binigyan natin ng libreng pamasahe sa eroplano, ... more
  • 1 day CHED proposes voucher for enrollment of displaced OFWs MB
    By Alexandria Dennise San Juan The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has proposed a one-time voucher for children of displaced overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to help them enroll this coming school year amid the pandemic. “Yung mga anak ng OFWs na umuwi na at hindi madedeploy (The children of the OFWs who have returned home and will not be deployed) maybe we can give them a one-time grant just so they can pay the tuition fee for this school year,” CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera said in a virtual Senate hearing on Friday, May 29. “The expectation is next ... more
  • 1 day PAL resumes operations this June 1 MB |Biz
    By MB Online Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced Saturday that they will resume operations for selected international and domestic routes starting June 1. In an advisory PAL said that they will start limited services for routes to the USA, Canada, Guam, Vietnam, mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Japan, the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The flag carrier also said that they will start operating a reduced number of domestic flights. PAL said that they are currently mulling the possibility of having services to London and Sydney in June. Under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), sea, air, and ... more
  • 1 day #TobaccoFreeGeneration online concert on May 31 MB
    By Chito Chavez The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), the Child Rights Network (CRN), and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) will host an online concert on May 31 dubbed as #TobaccoFreeGeneration. PLPCD said the concert is being held on World No Tobacco Day under the theme “protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.” In a high-burden tobacco use country like the Philippines, there are 16.6 million adult smokers and 87,000 Filipinos die annually from tobacco-related diseases. According to the 2015 Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2015, 16 percent of the ... more
  • 1 day Local airlines appeals for economic stimulus program MB
    By Vanne Elaine Terrazola Local air carriers have appealed for their inclusion in the economic stimulus programs being crafted by Congress to help them ride out the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the hybrid hearing of the Senate Committees on Finance and Economic Affairs on Friday, May 29, Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) vice chairman Robert Lim lobbied anew for assistance programs for the aviation sector whose operations were stunted by the travel restrictions imposed to contain the virus. “We are looking [at] legislature to provide us support by including a sectoral intervention and provision for the ... more
  • 1 day Over 22,000 OFWs from different quarantine facilities already sent home—DOLE MB
    By Analou De Vera The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Saturday said that over 22,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in different quarantine facilities were already sent home. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Labor Undersecretary Claro Arellano reported that a total of 22,426 out of the 24,000 OFWs in quarantine facilities have so far been transported to their respective hometowns as of 6 a.m. of Saturday, May 30. “Of this figure, 19,042 were transported between May 25 [to] 28 and 3,384 were brought home on May 29 alone,” Arellano said in a statement. Arellano also reported that ... more
  • 1 day NBI: Internet-related crimes doubled during pandemic MB
    By Jeffrey Damicog The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Saturday, May 30, revealed the number of internet-related crimes have doubled during this quarantine period. “Dumoble po yung bilang ng ating cyber, computer-related fraud cases (the number of cyber, computer-related fraud cases have doubled),” said NBI Cyber Crime Division (NBI-CCD) Executive Officer Atty. Michelle Valdez disclosed during the Laging Handa media briefing. “Dumoble rin po ngayong panahon ng pandemic the continuous proliferation, ito po yung pagpapakalat ng maling balita kaugnayan po ng COVID pandemic na nagko-cause ng chaos or ng confusion among the public or Filipino citizens (The number of ... more
  • 1 day Colmenares warns against DOE’s alleged plans to purchase Malampaya shares MB
    By Ben Rosario The progressive Bayan Muna group warned on Saturday that it will hold accountable any government official who will give the go signal in the purchase of P2.8 billion shares of tycoon Dennis Uy at the Malampaya consortium. Neri Colmenares (JOHN JEROME GANZON/Manila Bulletin File Photo) Former Rep. Neri Colmenares, Bayan Muna chairman, urged Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to heed this advice, saying that plans of the Department of Energy to push through with the deal could put government in a disadvantageous position. Colmenares said the purchase of the shares in the Malampaya consortium is also ill-timed as ... more
  • 1 day 2GO ferries OFWs back to provinces MB |Biz
    By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat Shipping and logistics company, 2GO Group Inc. has increased its passenger service operations to support government’s directive to speed up the homecoming of over 24,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in Metro Manila due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group, which operates the Philippines’ largest integrated supply chain, said it is “ready, willing, and capable”’ of safely transporting the locally stranded OFWs and other individuals to the Visayas and Mindanao regions. In fact, 2GO has been supporting the Balik Probinsiya program of the government since it started. Last May 24, two of its vessels — the M/V ... more
  • 1 day Teachers’ group hopeful for the revision of school calendar amid the pandemic MB
    By Merlina Hernando-Malipot A teachers’ group on Saturday, May 30, reiterated its support to the proposed revision of the school calendar, noting that this would provide flexibility to the authorities to determine the date of opening of classes during the times of emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. As the House panel hears proposals on revision of the school calendar, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, expressed optimism that the existing school calendar would be revised especially as the county continues to grapple with COVID-19. While the school opening for the school year (SY) 2020-2021 is “almost certain” ... more
  • 1 day COVID-19 has impact on gender equality — Robredo MB
    By Raymund Antonio Filipino women still suffer from different forms of abuses in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo said. Vice President Leni Robredo(OVP / MANILA BULLETIN) Speaking at the recent webinar held by Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Robredo noted the COVID-19 crisis has made it much worse for women. “We know that, during times of crises and national emergencies, cases of domestic and family violence increase, because victims are trapped with their abusers in a single space,” Robredo, an advocate of women’s rights, said. ”Worse, many cases go unreported so victims cannot call ... more
  • 1 day Galvez slams NPA for burning of chapel, houses in MisOr MB
    By Martin Sadongdong Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. on Saturday condemned “in the strongest terms possible” the intended burning of a chapel and houses in a mountainous village in Opol, Misamis Oriental which was blamed on the New People’s Army (NPA). Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr.(OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Police reported that around 10 heavily-armed men, suspected to be communist rebels, set on fire to an evangelical church and four houses in Barangay Limonda last Thursday, May 28. “There is no doubt that this incident is another dastardly act committed by the communist rebels whose ... more
  • 1 day DepEd: Physical appearance in school for enrollment is ‘last option’ MB
    By Merlina Hernando-Malipot As the month-long enrollment in public schools commences next week, the Department of Education (DepEd) reminded parents, guardians, and learners that there will be no face-to-face registration for all grade levels. Education Secretary Leonor Briones joins the meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) presided by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 28, 2020. (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “Making physical appearance in school for enrollment purposes shall be the last option for parents or guardians or learners,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones ... more
  • 1 day PNP starts training, recruitment for new cops on june 1 MB
    By Aaron Recuenco The Philippine National Police (PNP) has come up with new sets of guidelines against Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) as it plans to resume the career training programs and recruitment of new cops starting June 1. Philippine National Police (MANILA BULLETIN) PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the ‘new normal’ way of conducting training and in the recruitment process was based on the administrative and operational plans crafted to protect policemen from coronavirus infection while attempting to normalize the usual way of life for policemen while on duty. Among strict guidelines to be observed, according to Banac, ... more
  • 1 day DILG corrects Gabriela’s claims on Balik Probinsya program MB
    By Chito Chavez The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday, May 30, slammed partylist group Gabriela for its critical stance against the government’s “Balik Probinsiya’’ program. DILG undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya(DILG 10 via PIA / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya claimed that Gabriela erroneously premised its attack on the “Balik Probinsiya’’ program on the recent report that two people repatriated recently to Leyte province by the government were found positive with COVID-19. He said the leftist group claimed the two were among those repatriated by the government under Balik Probinsiya. Instead ... more
  • 1 day First batch of BPBPP beneficiaries are back in Leyte MB
    By Dhel Nazario Around 111 locals are finally back in Leyte as part of the first batch of beneficiaries of the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BPBPP),” the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said on Friday, May 29. Around 111 locals are finally back in Leyte as part of the first batch of beneficiaries of the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BPBPP). (TESDA / MANILA BULLETIN) They arrived at Candahug, Palo, Leyte at 9:30 p.m. on May 21 after a 28-hour land trip from Metro Manila. There were five buses that took them to Leyte which left Manila at ... more
  • 1 day Lack of singular law penalizing online sexual exploitation of children has benefit, says CHR MB
    By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki The absence of one singular law that would penalize online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) actually has its advantage, according to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN) During the “Tanggol Karapatan” talk about OSEC held on Saturday morning held with Radyo Veritas, CHR Commissioner Leah Tanodra-Armamento said that there are a multitude of laws that victims of OSEC can use to their advantage. When she was still a prosecutor for the Department of Justice (DOJ), Tanodra-Armamento said that perpetrators of online sexual abuse were prosecuted in different laws. She ... more
  • 1 day Unregistered Chinese medicines seized in Port of NAIA MB
    By Betheena Unite Instead of vitamins, unregistered Chinese medicines worth P700,000 were found inside a package shipped from China to the Port of NAIA Thursday, the Bureau of Customs said Saturday. Bureau of Customs (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN) Around 180 kilos of Chinese medicines concealed in a shipment declared as “vitamin pills” were uncovered when Customs agents opened the shipment due to absence of necessary permits. The shipment, according to the bureau, was shipped from Xiamen, Fujian in China to a mall consignee in Muntinlupa City. “Upon physical examination of the goods, it was found that the shipment contained ... more
  • 1 day Go urges public to report anomalies to authorities, especially in relation to the purchase or selling of medical supplies and equipment MB
    By Mario Casayuran Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate health an demography committee, today urged the public to report anomalies and corruption-related acts to authorities, especially if it is in connection with the purchase or selling of medical supplies and equipment even as the country tries to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease (COIVD-19). Sen. Bong Go(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “Hinihimok ko ang bawat Pilipino na magsumbong kung may nakikitang korapsyong ginagawa ang mga opisyal o pribadong kompanya,’’ Go said. (I am encouraging every Filipino to report any corruption committed ... more
  • 1 day Palace: Fabunan antiviral injections not yet approved MB
    By Argyll Cyrus Geducos Malacañang said there was no truth to the rumors that President Duterte has already approved the use of Fabunan antiviral injections against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying the drug has not even undergone clinical studies yet. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “Hindi po totoo ‘yan (That’s not true)!” Roque said over PTV-4 on Saturday (May 30), referring to the rumors involving the controversial drug. “Ang nangyari po, sumulat po sa opisina ko ang isang Atty. Fabunan at finorward ko po ang letter niya kay DOST (Department of Science and Technology) ... more
  • 1 day Illegal logging items seized in Region 4-A MB
    By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz The Department and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 4-A has seized illegally sourced lumber, charcoal, and other illegal logging equipment that were found in a protected area in Rizal. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (MANILA BULLETIN) Through the Rizal Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), 350 board feet of lumber, 104 sacks of charcoal, and five units of illegal logging equipment, with an estimated value of P102,370 have been recently confiscated. The forest products and equipment found within a protected area were proclaimed as abandoned and are currently in the custody of ... more
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