DOLE halts labor inspections to settle pending cases

To settle pending standards cases and prepare the inspection program for 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has suspended all inspection activities this month. In Administrative Order No. 269, series of 2021, Secretary Silvestre Bello III directed all DOLE regional directors to temporarily cease all labor inspection activities starting December 1, according to a news release on Sunday. Exempted from the suspension of inspection are Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Covid-19 Monitoring, including those under the Department of Trade and Industry; complaint inspections; OSH standards investigations; technical safety…

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Go backs return of NTF-ELCAC fund for dev’t of conflict-hit areas

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said he supports sufficient budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), saying the task force’s role towards long-lasting peace and development must be sustained and pursued further. Go, a member of the bicameral conference committee for the 2022 General Appropriations bill, urged fellow lawmakers to ensure that the NTF-ELCAC will have the necessary resources to continue its development assistance programs in conflict-affected areas. “Being one of the members ng bicam ay isinulong ko na maibalik o madagdagan ang pondo ng…

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PH eyes export of high-value products, services

Key stakeholders will focus on high-value products and services in crafting the new Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) for 2022-2027 while the country works to tap into its unrealized export potential. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said the agency is spearheading the drafting of the new PEDP “with an overarching goal of transforming the Philippines from an exporter of commodities and intermediate goods to an exporter of high-value products and services.” “The new PEDP will also lay out aggressive and disruptive strategic directions with targeted and…

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Malasakit party-list forms alliance with Duterte’s PDDS

Eusebio Avanceña, chairman and third nominee of Malasakit Movement Party-list, forged an alliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS). Avanceña, cousin of Duterte’s common-law wife, Honeylet, inked an agreement with PDDS national president Greco Belgica on Saturday. “Sa alyansang ito ng Malasakit Movement at PDDS ni Pangulong Duterte, mas marami ang mapagmamalasakitan. Pareho ang adhikain namin ni Pangulong Duterte, iyan ay mapagmalasakitan ang mas maraming Pilipino (With the alliance of Malasakit Movement and PDDS of President Duterte, we can be of help to more Filipinos. We…

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Constitutionality of ATA victory for law-abiding citizens

The Supreme Court (SC) decision that Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) is constitutional, save for two provisions, was a clear and convincing victory for law-abiding and responsible citizens. Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año stressed on Sunday that the ATA is the state’s main tool to run after terrorist groups. “Rest assured, we will be making the appropriate adjustments to conform to the decision of the high court and continue to implement the ATA strictly as a means of protecting the Filipino people…

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CHR seeks clarification on ‘contentious’ ATA provisions

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Sunday said it welcomes the recent Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) but expects the high court to clarify its stand on the remaining “contentious” provisions. CHR spokesperson, lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia, in a statement, said the CHR has consistently recognized the need to “combat terrorism as a means to pursue the people’s right to life, liberty, and physical security”. “The CHR partly welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court declaring as unconstitutional parts of Section…

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PH logs 509 new Covid-19 recoveries; active cases drop to 11,255

The Philippines’ total number of active Covid-19 cases dropped to 11,255 after the Department of Health (DOH) logged 509 new recoveries on Sunday. In its latest case bulletin, the DOH said the country’s recovered cases also reached 2,775,057 or 97.8 percent of the total case count of 2,836,592 since the start of the pandemic last year. The DOH, meanwhile, tallied 402 new infections, including 380 cases tallied from Nov. 29 to Dec. 12. “The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were NCR (98 or 26 percent), Region…

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Gov’t beefs up monitoring of foreign retirees in PH

The government is strengthening its monitoring of the economic activities of foreign nationals, including retirees, as the country continues to allow the entry of foreign labor even in the face of the pandemic. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRetA) last week signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) allowing the free exchange of foreign national data between the two agencies at the DOLE Central Office. “This data-sharing agreement will facilitate the exchange of information between DOLE and PRetA for better coordination, rendering of services,…

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PRC pushes for safer holidays thru RT-PCR testing

Regular RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) testing to combat Covid-19 will make the holiday season safer. As authorities continue to remind compliance with health and safety protocols despite lowering Covid-19 cases and with the threat of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) pushes for regular testing and vaccination. “We are at war against Covid-19. We must ensure that you are tested regularly and are fully vaccinated before we go to celebrations with our families,” the PRC reminded through a news release on Sunday. The country’s leading humanitarian…

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Enough supply of syringes: DOH, NTF

The Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said on Sunday they are continuously ensuring enough supplies of syringes — both 0.3ml syringes (microsyringes) that are compatible for the Pfizer vaccine and 0.5ml auto-disable (AD) syringes for all other brands. The two agencies said two batches of procurement through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have been undertaken, with the first batch of 8 million 0.3ml syringes worth PHP 29.1 million completed in October and paid for by 2020 savings. The second batch, financed through…

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LPA outside PAR now TD, may make landfall by Dec. 15

A low pressure area (LPA) outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) southeast of Palau has developed into tropical depression (TD), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Sunday. In its latest weather bulletin, the weather bureau reported the center of the tropical depression was estimated at 2,095 kilometers east of Mindanao outside the PAR as of 10 a.m. It has maximum sustained winds of 45 km per hour near the center with gustiness up to 55 kph with its present movement almost stationary, it said.…

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Lost national ID can’t be used by others

A Philippine Identification (PhilID) card or national ID, when lost, cannot be used by non-owners because it has no signature that could be forged or copied. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) made the assurance in response to a social media query of a PhilID holder who lost the physical card. “My national ID was lost. What will I do? Please help. It might be used by others and I will be the one to answer for his acts using my national ID,” netizen Jaron Jay Cabanero asked the PSA through…

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DILG to issue guidelines on pre-campaign period activities

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday said he will issue guidelines to local government units (LGUs) pertaining to the activities of electoral candidates ahead of the start of the campaign period in February next year. “Ako mismo maglalabas ako ng guidelines para sa mga LGUs ano yung mga panuntunan kapagka may caravan at saka merong motorcade diyan sa inyong area at ano ang dapat babantayan natin at hindi papayagan (I myself will issue guidelines to LGUs, what are the rules when there is…

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Refocus, improve efforts to mitigate climate change: DENR

The Covid-19 pandemic should serve as a moment of reflection to “refocus and rethink” climate change mitigation efforts. The recent 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland indicated it is also time to increase awareness on and secure commitments to deal with climate change, according to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu. “This pandemic enables the people to reflect and think about their lives in the future. Therefore, this is also the best time to educate them about…

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PH’s top female rower retires to focus on naval career

Melcah Jen Caballero won’t be around to defend her two gold medals in rowing at the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian Games in May 2022 after she preferred to retire from the national team to focus on her career with the Philippine Navy. The 25-year-old Caballero, a Seaman Second Class, won gold medals in women’s lightweight single sculls and doubles sculls with Joanie Delgaco at the 2019 30th SEA Games in Subic. “Every stroke opened different chapters of my life to which I can say that I have now reached the…

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Cops reminded of ‘no-take’ policy as Xmas season nears

The Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership on Sunday reminded its personnel to strictly adhere to the provisions of the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees” as reiterated by the Civil Service Commission, especially during the Yuletide season. PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos vowed tougher sanctions against police operatives found involved in illegal activities. “We can’t tolerate any form of bribe in the organization. The PNP has been living up to its core values to protect its integrity. We want to keep it that way,” Carlos…

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PH democracy vibrant, ‘work in progress’: PRRD

President Rodrigo Duterte said democracy in the Philippines is “a work in progress” but took pride in Filipinos being “free.” In his intervention at the United States’ (US) Summit for Democracy convened by US President Joseph “Joe” Biden Jr. on Friday, Duterte described democracy in the Philippines as “vibrant”. “I am proud to be at this Summit for Democracy to tell you about the Philippine experience. Philippine democracy is indeed a work in progress. But the Filipino is free. The Philippines is free,” he said in his speech. Duterte touted…

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