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SONA 2018: Women’s groups to protest in thousands against Duterte

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018

 

 

Various protest posters that the women’s groups will use for their rally during SONA 2018

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Several women’s groups are slowly gathering to stage protests along Commonwealth Avenue in front of Tandang Sora flyover in condemnation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies in line with his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.

According to leftist women’s group Gabriela, 2,000 women are expected to take part in the protests to voice out to the President their complaints before hearing the accomplishments of the administration.

A while ago, tarpaulins of five faces of Duterte were seen depicting the decision or mechanisms of the President in the last two years of his presidency.

Some of them were the President’s degradation of women, martial law in Mindanao, “endo”, Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law and the anti-‘tambay” campaign of the government.

Apart from women, there are also several children who will take part in the protests.

Their program is divided into two. At 12:00 p.m., Gabriela will lead the program and at 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. #BabaeAko movement will take over.

Later in the afternoon, the said women’s groups are set to join forces with the rallyists in front of St. Peter’s along Commonwealth Avenue for the United People’s SONA and to await altogether for the SONA of the President. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte approves suspension of additional fuel excise tax in 2019

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of President Rodrigo Duterte has already issued a memorandum on the suspension of the second tranche of additional excise taxes on oil for the first months of 2019.

But according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the president has green-lighted the proposal of his economic team.

In particular, the collection of the additional P2.00 excise tax for every liter of fuel will be suspended beginning January next year.

This is despite the downward trend of oil prices in the world market.

A provision of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law states that the next tranche of additional excise tax will be automatically suspended if the price of Dubai crude oil will reach $80 per barrel or more for three consecutive months.

“I just got a communication from the executive secretary that our proposal to suspend the two-peso additional excise tax on oil next year has been approved. And we have no intention to recommend again, second policy is kinda difficult, and we cannot do it at the whim in response to,” said Diokno.

The budget official noted that the move will result in revenue losses of around P26 billion.

It will also affect the government’s fuel subsidy program for jeepney operators. Instead of P20,000, recipients will only be receiving P10,000.

There is no definite period yet until when the suspension will be in effect but Secretary Diokno reiterated that the government will review it on a quarterly basis.

Diokno also insists that the government has the privilege to suspend the excise tax and will not violate the law.

“The administration has the prerogative to suspend if it wants to in the light of recent developments, we cannot violate the law, it’s the Department of Finance who is implementing the law,” said the budget secretary.

Meanwhile, Diokno denied a report that the government has failed to reach its target revenue collection under the TRAIN law.

“Number one, it’s false that it’s not yielding much more than one we have anticipated so, in other words, we have the program revenue collection as a result of TRAIN I, we have actually exceeded the collection,” said Diokno. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Locsin: PH, China to discuss ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ during Xi’s visit

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: (L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping | PCOO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping when the latter visits the country this month.

According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin, the two leaders will discuss the Philippines’ participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and a memorandum of understanding will be signed during Xi’s visit.

Locsin added in a message that this is Xi’s priority because the Philippines is the only ASEAN country that has yet to join the initiative aimed at linking Southeast Asia and South Pacific through massive infrastructure projects with multi-billion dollar fund earmarked by the Asian power.

The Chinese president is expected to visit the country this month after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in Papua New Guinea.

The DFA secretary, meanwhile, denied earlier reports that a deal on joint oil and energy exploration in disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea will be signed between the Philippines and China during Xi’s visit.

This is because the proposed deal is still being studied according to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and the president has yet to approve the bid to explore the Service Contract No. 57 situated west of Calamian Islands in northwest Palawan.

Cusi also clarified that the said area is not included in the hotly contested parts of the West Philippine Sea.

“Service Contract No. 57 and this is an issue of farming-in for a company to be because that service contract is owned by PNOC-EC and then needed the partner to pursue further exploration and exploitation if when the time comes. So they have been looking for partners and one partner that they have shown that interest is the CNOOC. So, for them to farm-in because it has been farming-in is not allowed,” said Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Both Cusi and Locsin admit they have no idea whether Duterte and Xi will discuss the proposed joint oil exploration deal in the West Philippine Sea during their meeting. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte to invite China’s Xi to his Davao home

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018

 

FILE PHOTO: (L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping | PCOO

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte will invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to his home in Davao City.

The top Chinese official is set to visit the country this month after the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea.

Duterte has previously brought Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his home when the official visited the country in January 2017.

This will be the first visit of the Chinese president to the country under the term of President Duterte. — UNTV News & Rescue

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