Expropriation on the table to meet Mindanao Railway launch target

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) said Thursday that its October 2022 target to achieve partial operations for the China-funded Mindanao Railway Project is still “achievable” despite delays posed by right-of-way (ROW) acquisition, adding that expropriation of land remains an option to expedite the process. In response to a BusinessWorld […]

Timely labor market update up in Dole’s career info website

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has urged students and jobseekers to take advantage of its online database, http://careerinfo.ph for career guidance. In a press release, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the labor department aims to supplement the employment recovery efforts of the government under the National Employment Recovery Strategy by providing accurate […]

DTI backs bigger role for small businesses in new trade deal with Australia, New Zealand

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) expressed support for the inclusion of small businesses in an ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand free trade deal upgrade in recent virtual discussions by trade ministers. The DTI said representatives in the ASEAN dialogue partner consultations on Sept. 13-15 discussed the possible completion of negotiations for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free […]

FDI-friendly policy review underway for agriculture

A REVIEW of policy is ongoing to make agriculture more attractive to foreign direct investment (FDI), with a view to supporting the sector’s modernization, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.  Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said during a virtual 9th Session of the Economic Fora organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government […]

Group charter scheme eyed for East Asian tourists

THE DEPARTMENT of Tourism has identified South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan as potential partner countries for specialized tour groups once international travel resumes. “(We’re) looking at possibilities for maybe specialized charters that will bring various tour groups straight into destinations that are already prepared to welcome the tourists eventually,” Tourism Assistant Secretary Verna C. Buensuceso […]

DoE sets up anti-corruption panel

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has created a coordinating committee to oversee policy on curbing corruption in the energy sector. In an order dated Sept. 7 and posted last week, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, established the Energy Anti-Corruption Coordinating Committee (Energy-ACCC), which will suggest revisions to current anti-graft measures, and promote training, education and […]

Increased foreign ownership for solar, wind seen requiring legislation

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy believes new laws may be needed to relax the foreign ownership restrictions for wind and solar projects. “The National Renewable Energy Board has looked into it — under the leadership of then-chair Monalisa Dimalanta. (But) we have a problem on the interpretation of the Constitution. It states (that) all natural resources […]

CoA says Agri dep’t failed to spend P9.8 billion 

GOVERNMENT AUDITORS said the Department of Agriculture (DA) left about P9.8 billion unused in 2020 due to bid failures, incomplete procurement documentation, and the difficulties encountered in moving projects forward due to the pandemic. The Commission on Audit (CoA) said the Department of Agriculture (DA) disbursed P49.25 billion or 83.4% of its P59.06-billion budget, with […]

Unreleased health worker benefits to be probed

A congresswoman has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the Health department’s alleged failure to release benefits and allowances to health workers under the country’s second stimulus package.  “The Department of Health (DoH) should determine the reasons for such failure and identify viable solutions to give healthcare workers the benefits due to them,” Marikina Rep. Stella Luz […]

OWWA seeks P7-B for OFW quarantine

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has asked for P7.5 billion more from the Budget department to sustain the quarantine needs of Filipino workers overseas.  “Signals from National Government and the Department of Budget and Management are positive,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac told an online news briefing on Friday.  He said the agency’s remaining budget is good until Sept. 16. and 520,000 migrant workers have been given their food, […]

DoLE emergency funds now with regional offices; seeking P2B more for cash-for-work

THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it has distributed P13 billion to its regional offices, and is seeking P2 billion more to support a cash-for-work program, which budget officials said will be forthcoming once the original funds are spent. “The P13 billion… has been obligated and downloaded to the regional offices,” the Labor department’s […]

Makati-BGC pedestrian, bike link to start full operations next year

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senioir Reporter AN ELEVATED walkway with at-grade bike lanes along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) Northbound and Quingua Street, connecting Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) Buendia Station (Northbound) to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Bus Depot, is expected to start full operations next year, the Transportation department said.  The Makati-BGC […]