Pres. Duterte defers dismissal of a government official

admin   •   January 4, 2018   •   4175


MANILA, Philippines — Even before the year 2018 started, President Rodrigo Duterte has told Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque about the next presidential appointee he wants to dismiss.

Roque said he had planned on making the official announcement today, however, the Chief Executive told him not to proceed with the announcement.

“So although I was directed to announce as early as January 30, the instruction was to announce in our next press briefing, which is today. But of course, the beginning of the day, I was asked to defer with the said announcement,” said Roque.

Malacañang did not cite any reason behind the deferment of the dismissal of the unnamed official.

At present, the President is studying the law that created the agency to which the said official was appointed.

Roque also clarified that he wasn’t referring to either official of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) or the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

The PCSO official is facing controversy over the purportedly extravagant holiday party for employees last December.

The Marina administrator, on the other hand, has been alleged of engaging in junkets.

“I can make the confirmation that the official who I was tasked to announce and may belatedly tell to hold in abeyance is not from the PCSO,” said the presidential spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Malacañang once again reiterated that President Duterte does not allow any of his relatives to be involved in any government transaction.

“That applies to his children, his siblings, his cousins, his uncle, and aunts. No one in his family is authorized by him to have any financial interest in any government office, agency, or department,” said Roque. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

Duterte signs into law higher taxes on alcohol, e-cigarette

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 23, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law imposing higher taxes on alcohol, e-cigarettes, and other vapor products.

The Republic Act no. 11467 was signed to raise additional funds for the government’s Universal Healthcare Law.

Under the newly signed law, taxes on distilled spirits shall increase to P42 per proof liter this year and will increase by 6% every year starting 2025. There will also be an ad valorem tax imposed on the products which is 22% of the alcohol prices.

Meanwhile, taxes of wine and beer products will increase by P50 and P35 per liter respectively. These products will also be subjected to a 6% tax increase every year starting in 2025.

For vapor products, a pack of heated tobacco will have an excise tax of P25 this year. Salt nicotine products will have excise taxes set at P37 per milliliter while cigarette taxes are set at P45 per pack this year.

Taxes of all vapor products will increase by 5% every year in the succeeding years.

The law, meanwhile, exempts medicine for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol in value-added tax.

By 2023, the law will also exempt value-added tax on prescription drugs for cancer, mental illness, tuberculosis, and kidney disease.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President has vetoed section 5 of the Republic Act.

“The sin tax law that has been approved, there’s one provision that was vetoed, section 5, regarding the authority of the court to first grant seizure of properties as well as searching,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

SWS: Duterte’s satisfaction rating hits new record-high

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte’s satisfaction rating has reached a new record high, according to the recent survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Based on the 4th Quarter 2019 SWS Survey, Duterte got a 72% excellent net satisfaction rating, which is seven points higher compared to his September rating of 65%.

Malacañang welcomed the survey result saying President Duterte still has the support of the people.

“This means that the President has the support of the people, for which he is very thankful. But more than that, the people support him because they feel his legacy of real change,” said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar .—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte creates inter-agency task force on zero-hunger

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 16, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order creating an inter-agency task force to end hunger in the country.

Based on Executive Order no. 101, an inter-agency task force on zero-hunger will be created which will be chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

“Involuntary hunger, food security, undernutrition and child wasting, stunting, and mortality continue to be serious concerns in the country,” the executive order reads.

The task force aims to assure that all government policies, programs and projects are centered in maintaining zero-hunger in the country.

“There is a need to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor and assess the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole-of-government approach to eradicating hunger and achieving food security,” it further reads.

The members of the task force include the secretaries of agrarian reform, budget, education, environment, health, labor, interior and local government, trade, science and technology, communications, National Economic and Development Authority director-general, and the head of the Commission on Higher Education.

The fund for the task force will be taken from the allotted budget of the members.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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