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Duterte to open PH borders to Malaysia and Indonesia to counter terrorism

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, September 4th, 2017

PCOO Photo/ Karl Normal Alonzo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated about the upcoming meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

This is to discuss the strengthening of cooperation between the three countries against terrorism

“To formalize an agreement, we have to meet face to face and agree on an agenda for the talks,” said President Duterte during an interview with the press in Davao City.

The meeting aims to strengthen the initial agreement of the three nations in having a joint task force to fight terrorism and other transnational crimes.

The president wants to open the Philippine borders to security forces of Malaysia and Indonesia if needed.

“Kung may hinahabol kami, tapos sabihin, malakas ‘yan, wala nang panahon, tirahin mo na lang siya. Even if it’s a Filipino, sabihin mo doon sa [inaudible], “Tirahin mo na.” or Indonesian dito (If we are running after (terrorists), then they say these are strong and we lack the time, just hit on them. Even if it’s Filipino…or Indonesian here (in the Philippines),” he said.

President Duterte warned recently on terrorists’ next possible targets such as Davao, Zamboanga and even Manila.

This is why the government is also strengthening the capacity of the military and police.

It is the 105th day since conflict in Marawi City started and the chief executive said the retaking of the whole city against terrorists is at its end. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Malaysia eases hiring process of domestic household helpers

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Hiring house helpers in Malaysia used to take up to one month. But now, the process only takes up to five days.

The process can be done online and has been made easier.

An employer just needs to log into the online maids system website and register the name of the househelper he or she plans to hire before uploading their medical screening document.

After the registration, the Immigration Department will assess the document first before requiring the payment for the hiring and the release of the temporary employment visit pass.

The employer has to pay MYR 1,635 or equivalent to P20,000.

The amount is lower than the MYR 12,000 or P 140,000 an employer had to pay for in the past.

“It’s easier now because it’s the employer who directly hires from the Philippines. Fees are lower and the process is faster. In the past,  they would have to wait for three months. Now it’s faster since it can be done online,” domestic helper Leny Palma said.

The new system also allows for the hiring of househelpers with expired social visit pass and they no longer need to look for an agency.

“Even though their visas have already expired, once they are able to find an employer who would process their hiring or would sponsor them, it will be processed easily. They no longer need to return to the Philippines,” domestic helper Kate Macam said.

Employers in Malaysia could do a direct hiring of foreign domestic helpers from Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Philippines.

“One disadvantage is the wide range of selection other than Filipinos who are already in Malaysia. There are applicants from Indonesia and Thailand. Filipinos expect a higher salary that’s why employers choose the ones with the lower salary expectations. There is so much competition,” Macam said.

Since the employers can now directly hire housemaids, it would be their responsibility to create a contract and to apply for domestic helpers’ insurance for accidents, health and death.

POEA Acting Administrator Undersecretary Bernard Olalia, meanwhile, confirms the new policy of Malaysia.

However, the agency wrote to the government of Malaysia expressing concern over the new policy which it claims might affect the security of overseas Filipino workers.

“It’s right the process will become easier because they removed the FRAs or the foreign recruitment agencies’ participation in the recruitment process, but it will be disadvantageous on our part, in the part of OFWs, Filipino overseas and POEA. Why? Because we have this so-called JSL provisions or the joint and solidary liability . . . in case of employment violations by the employer of our OFWs employment contracts, we go after our FRAs, we go after the foreign recruitment agencies . . . now that there are no longer FRAs, who would we go after?” said Olalia. – Maya Barquez | UNTV News & Rescue


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DND verifies presence of foreign terrorists in the Philippines

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of National Defense (DND) has received a report from the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia that foreign terrorists have entered through the country’s backdoor.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are continuously conducting their intelligence gathering to confirm the veracity of the report.

“It is ongoing. We are intensifying our monitoring on the south and as of now we cannot confirm the presence of foreign terrorist but there are homegrown terrorists there in the south we are sure of that,” said Lorenzana.

The AFP for its part said that they are focusing on relatives of neutralized Maute fighters who may be supporting existing terror groups.

“In terms of skills and confidence, we have already diminished them but we are looking on another angle. It’s more on radicalization of the other youth members and supporters of ISIS-Maute,” said Philippine Army chief LtGen. Rolando Joselito Bautista

Secretary Lorenzana noted that these homegrown terrorists are among the reasons why they recommended a one-year extension of martial law declaration in Mindanao.

“We requested for the extension of martial law because we believe that there is still rebellion there brought about our homegrown terrorists, the Maute group, assisted by some foreigners,” said the defense secretary.

The AFP chief said that the extension of martial law is a huge help for the military to move against the terrorist group.

“It does not mean that you will reduce or diminish the threat but we have a lever and call it as manageable risk,” said Bautista. — Lea Ylagan | 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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