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China keen on funding major projects in Mindanao region

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang made a courtesy call to President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City last Friday where the two leaders agreed to bolster ties between the two nations.

On Saturday, several local officials presented to Wang some major projects for Davao City and Mindanao.

These include the Davao City Expressway Project, Coastal Road, Coastline and Port Development Project, the Mindanao Railway Project and the development of Davao International Airport.

“They are still up to be offered to our investors either thru PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) or thru official development assistance,”  said NEDA Region 11 Director, Maria Lourdes Lim.

Davao City councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said, “The Chinese government is really committed.  They have a time bounded direction that may result in some infrastructure development of the city,” said .

NEDA Region 11 Director Maria Lourdes Lim said that of the five projects, the development of Davao Airport is the only one approved by the NEDA board, while the other projects are still under evaluation.

“The ambassador will be coming back later this month and a mission will be sent by the Vice Premier next month to look into the details the preparation, terms of reference and other exploratory, preparatory activities in time for the visit of President Duterte to Beijing in May.” NEDA Region 11 Director Lim said.

As for the Mindanao Railway Project, the Digos-Davao-Tagum segment will be the first to be constructed.

NEDA clarified that the said projects are open to other interested foreign investors or the private sector and not only to China. – Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang to conduct information campaign on TRAIN Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

President Duterte’s ratings, expected

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte wants the public to understand everything about the provisions and the purpose of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.

This, following a series of increases in prices of goods and services in the country.

In line with this, the government will conduct an intensified information dissemination about TRAIN.

“I also know that PCOO is working double time to embark on a dissemination campaign on the salient features of TRAIN. Likewise, the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who will take advantage of price hikes invoking TRAIN as a legal basis,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque also assured that government agencies like the DTI will not allow businessmen to exploit the system for their own gains.

“Ang excise tax naman po pinapataw hindi dun sa old inventory kundi sa mga bagong inventory. So walang dahilan para tumaas ang presyo on day 1 of the effectivity of the law (The excise tax is imposed not on the old inventory but on the new inventory. Therefore, there is no reason to increase prices on day one of the effectivity of the law),” Roque said.

Meanwhile, the government will improve the cash transfer fund in order to ease the burden of poor families.

“We already have a list of beneficiaries on the conditional cash transfer. It would be the same population that will benefit from this cash mitigation which is a provision of the Tax Reform Act or TRAIN,” the spokesperson added. —  Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lawmakers oppose possible term extension for President Rodrigo Duterte

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

FILE PHOTOS: (Left-Right) Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Rep. Edcel Lagman

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s term will end in 2022.

However, owing to the proposed shift to a federal form of government, Senate President Koko Pimentel noted the possible extension of the chief executive’s term to pave way for the transition period.

With this, opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan expressed concern that changing the Constitution and the system of the government will not only extend the term of the president but also give him more powers.

The senator noted one of these powers might be the creation of laws that would no longer need the approval of Congress.

According to Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the President can manipulate the decision of the constituent assembly to implement the changes he wants in the Constitution.

Lagman explained this is because of the existing administration-allied supermajority in Congress.

On the other hand, Malacañang strongly denied the alleged term extension of the chief executive.

“I would like to repeat, the President does not want his term to be extended. In fact, he wants to shorten it,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez clarified the issue on the alleged possibility of a ‘no-election’ scenario. Alvarez said it might happen in the 2019 senatorial polls and not in the 2022 presidential elections.

He explained, should the charter change push through to pave the way for federalism, the structure of the government will change.

The House speaker said it might affect the senators whose term will end in 2025, noting it is practical to not hold an election in 2019 so that all senators will simultaneously end their terms in 2022.

Alvarez added that election for local positions and lawmakers in the House of Representatives might push through in 2019. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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PH to welcome other foreign telcos if China won’t accept deal according to constitutional requirement

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, January 4th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte shake hands with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during the Chinese official visited the country.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines may possibly open the playing field for telecommunications providers to other foreign companies.

Malacañang said that it is not yet final if the third telecommunications company to be joining the country’s playing field will be coming from China.

This, despite the fact that President Rodrigo Duterte offered this to Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang when the Chinese official visited the country.

Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said if Chinese telecom will not heed with the 60/40 percent constitutional foreign-ownership provision, the Philippines will open the market to other foreign companies.

“We gave China the option but if this is not acceptable to it, unfortunately, we will have to look for other players because we will have to honor what the Constitution provides — 60/40 in terms of owning a telecoms company,” he said.

Roque, however, said they do not see any indication that China will not push through with the project.

President Duterte is determined to implement the project the soonest possible time to create better competition and better telecommunications service for the public.

“So far, as far as I know, it has been offered to China. We don’t know what the details are but the deadline is fast approaching. The President wants it up and about in the first quarter of this year,” the spokesperson added. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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