PH will now have its own space agency! Duterte signs Philippine Space Act
Aileen Cerrudo • August 13, 2019 • 1979
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act No. 11363 or the Philippine Space Act which will enable the Philippines to have its own space agency.
The president signed R.A. 11363 on August 8. The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) aims to develop the country’s space technology. This includes research and development of programs for the country to have a representation in the international space community.
PhilSA will also improve disaster management as well as enhance production and profitability of agribusinesses.
The national space agency will be headed by a director-general.
The six key development areas of PhilSA include: National Security and Development; Hazard Management and Climate Studies; Space Research and Development; Space Industry Capacity Building; Space Education and Awareness; and International Cooperation.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to seek justice for football player Keith Absalon and his cousin Nolven who were killed by a landmine blast in Masbate City on Sunday (June 6).
In a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President has heard the plea of the victims’ families.
“Nangako ang Pangulo na masusi itong iimbestigahan at pagbabayaran ang may mga sala,” he said.
(The President vowed to thoroughly investigate the incident and hold the perpetrators accountable)
“Pwede pong hulihin, litisin at parusahan ang mga taong gumamit ng pasabog na ito kahit saang parte ng daigdig because what they did po was a crime against the international community. Mariin namin itong kinukundena,” Roque added.
(Those who use landmines can be can be arrested, put on trial, and punished in any part of the world because what they did was a crime against the international community. We deeply condemn the act.)
The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) on Tuesday took responsibility for the incident and expressed their remorse “over the untimely and unnecessary deaths.”
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported that Keith and Nolven also sustained gunshot wounds.
Based on the necropsy report of the City Health Office in Masbate City, Keith also sustained a gunshot wound on the right eye while Nolven sustained a gunshot wound on the right shoulder blade and on the left lateral distal thigh. AAC
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping both call for a “win-win” cooperation in commemoration of the 46th anniversary of Philippine-China relations.
The Philippine President expressed his gratitude for China’s assistance to the Philippines in the face of challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Philippine-China economic ties are of course the dynamic force that will continue to drive or bilateral relations forward,” Duterte told Xi in a statement.
“I am confident that my Administration’s Build Build Build program together with the Belt and Road Initiative, will reap long-term benefits for our peoples,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Duterte, the Chinese president acknowledged that in recent years, with concerted efforts of both sides, Philippine- China relations have remained “healthy and stable.”
“I attach great significance to the development of China-Philippines relations, and stand ready to work with you in guiding our bilateral relations to move forward in a sustained and steady manner, so as to achieve greater win-win results and mutual benefits,” Xi said. AAC
With votes of 17-3-0, the Senate has approved the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGO Tax Bill on the third and final reading.
Senate Bill No. 223 which President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent seeks to impose additional taxes on POGO.
The Gross Gaming Revenue or receipts from POGO’s gaming operation will have 5% tax. The gross income of all alien employees of offshore gaming licensees and service providers will also be imposed with 25% withholding tax.
According to Senator Pia Cayetano, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and sponsor of the bill, an estimate of P28.7 billion worth of taxes will be collected in 2021 once it becomes a law. Meanwhile, an estimate of P32 billion will be collected in 2022.
However, several Senators do not agree in approving the said bill. Senator Risa Hontiveros said online gambling should not be the main source of income for foreigners in the country. She also reported crimes and syndicates where several POGO employees are involved.
“I think it is important for this chamber, Mr. President, to take a stronger position against online gambling and the illicit activity it has brought to our shores,” she said.
Senator Francis Pangilinan also agreed with Hontiveros.
“Indeed, whatever amount the BIR collects from POGOs may be used to fund projects to give relief to our people’s suffering during this pandemic. However, we cannot and should not turn a blind eye to the social costs that the POGO industry brings and has brought upon us,” he said. –AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
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