by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting the partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the project will definitely ease the burden of commuters as travel time from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan will reduce significantly from four hours to about 35 minutes once the project is completed.
On Wednesday (July 17), Batan and DOTr officials inspected MRT-7’s construction site in Quezon City to check the work in progress.
According to the project’s contractor San Miguel Corporation, the ongoing construction is already 44% complete which includes the train stations, platforms and the line where the railings will be placed.
The DOTr also announced that the procurement of 36 new train sets from South Korea has already been done.
MRT-7 is a 23-kilometer railway system that connects North Avenue in Quezon City to the province of Bulacan.
The train system traverses 14 stations namely North Avenue, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University Avenue, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, Manggahan, Doña Carmen, Regalado, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino, Sacred Heart, Tala and San Jose Del Monte.
It can load up to 500,000 passengers daily.
To prevent similar glitches as those in MRT Line 3, the DOTr is in close coordination with the agency’s private partners in terms of the regular maintenance of the MRT-7.
Usec. Batan said the completion of the entire project is expected in 2022. – with details from Joan Nano
by Maris Federez | Posted on Saturday, July 6th, 2019
The Department of Finance (DOF) has created an inter-agency task force with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in intensifying the imposition of taxes on foreign workers in the country.
DOF Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino noted the increasing number of foreign workers in the country who do not pay taxes.
“It’s not fair to the Filipino worker who is paying taxes regularly when we have foreign nationals working here and not paying taxes. Because they use the same roads. Nakikinabang naman sila sa mga ilaw sa gabi, sa ating mga kalsada, kung anu-ano pang services na meron [They benefit from the electricity, from our roads, and from other services we have],” Lambino said.
The DOF official also said the country can earn 32 billion pesos every year from the tax that can be collected from 138,000 foreign workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) industry.
A data from DOLE shows that 84% of employees of the 182 POGOs that are registered in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are foreign nationals, most of which are Chinese.
This prompted the task force to come up with a joint memorandum circular which states that the DOLE will not release an alien employment permit to a foreign national who has no tax identification number issued by the BIR.
The DOLE and the BIR will also come up with a database that will set a solid data on the total number of foreign workers in the country and to have a strict monitoring in the taxation of these workers.
The BIR has also issued notices to other POGO providers to remind them to pay taxes that have now reached P4-Billion. (with reports from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, July 4th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday said it is studying the feasibility of the proposal seeking to grant 14th month pay to workers in the private sector.
Senator Vicente Sotto III on Monday filed the Senate bill no. 10 that seeks to require the private sector to provide its workers with 14th month pay in an aim to increase wage benefits amid rising prices of basic goods.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they are open to the merits of the measure but its effects should be studied and considered thoroughly.
Bello said that apart from its apparent impact on small and medium enterprises, the proposal is likely to further burden companies.
“Mukhang hindi pa ano, it’s not yet time. From the assessment of our National Wage and Productivity Board eh baka hindi makayanan,” he told UNTV News and Rescue in a phone interview.
Bello also said the proposal may also cause disequilibrium, particularly to companies that are having difficulty in fully complying with the granting of 13th month pay to workers.
“From our experience, sa 13th month pay pa lang eh, ang dami nang hindi nakakapag-comply. Additional month pay may cause disequilibrium. So, kailangan talaga ng masusing pag-aaral,” Bello said.
The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), in a separate interview, said that the proposal could break the operations of small, micro and medium businesses, cause inflation to spike and the Philippines to lose its competitiveness against its Southeast Asian peers.
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