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Charissa Luci

House bill seeks end to dog meat trade

Alarmed that at least 300,000 dogs are still being butchered for food every year in the Philippines, Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy is urging her colleagues to rally behind her bill seeking to ban the dog meat trade in the country. She called on fellow dog lovers in the House to pursue the passage of her House Bill No. 3836 or the Anti-Dog Meat Trade Act of 2016 which imposes stiffer penalties on persons engaged in the killing of dogs for commercial purposes. “I refiled HB 3836 in the hope that this time dog lovers in the Lower House will wholeheartedly support it.  I am of the impression that a big majority, if not all, congressmen have pet animals, particularly dogs,” she said. The assistant majority leader laments that despite higher public …

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Work double time on priority measures, lawmakers urged

A House leader sought yesterday anew the adoption of a five-day work week in Congress to fast track its deliberations on federalism, along with other priority measures. Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, chairman of the House Committees on Appropriations and Local Government, breathed life into his proposal as the House of Representatives passed the proposed 2017 national budget ahead of schedule and as House Committee on Constitutional Amendments passed the resolution calling on the Congress to convene itself as a Con-Ass to amend the 1987 Constitution to clear the way to the shift to a federal system of government. He said his proposal is aimed at speeding up deliberations on the proposed switch to a federal system of government, as well as on other priority measures that would be agreed upon …

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House probe on brutal US embassy dispersal sought

Lawmakers called for a congressional probe Thursday, October 20 on the brutal dispersal of national minorities and supporters holding a protest at the United States Embassy on Wednesday. Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and ACT Teachers partylist Rep. France Castro led the filing of House Resolution 487 strongly condemning the violent dispersal and calling on the House Committee on Human Rights to look into the “fascistic actions.” They also want appropriate criminal and administrative charges filed against the police officers and members involved in the violent dispersal. “Hindi sapat na ni-relieve lang, dapat masampahan ng administrative at criminal charges ang mga involved at matanggal sa kanilang mga posisyon (Relieving the involved police members and officials is not enough, administrative and criminal charges should be filed against them and that they will …

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House considering bounty for Dayan’s arrest

The House Committee on Justice is entertaining the possibility of offering a reward money for the arrest of Ronnie Dayan, the former bodyguard-driver of Senator Leila de Lima, both of which are implicated in the alleged drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison. Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the panel chairman, said Dayan remains unaccounted for even after the House of Representatives cited him in contempt and ordered his arrest last October 10. He said the House Sergeant-at-Arms and law enforcement agencies have been directed to locate Dayan. The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) already declared a P100,000 bounty for information on Dayan’s whereabouts. When asked if the House would follow suit, Umali said he would need to consult with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. “I will raise the issue with him. I think it is …

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House panel to decide on charter change method

The proposal calling for a constituent assembly (con-ass) as a mode of amending the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for a federal system of government will be put to vote by the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments on Wednesday, October 19.   Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, the chairman of the panel, said his committee will proceed with the voting to determine the mode that will be used for charter change (cha-cha) before Congress goes on Halloween break this week. He said after the voting, the technical working group (TWG) is expected to scrutinize at least 29 cha-cha bills and resolutions during recess and consult with their counterparts in the Senate on the proposals. Mercado hopes that he will be able to keep his post on Wednesday to facilitate the voting on the …

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100-day maternity leave proposal sent to House plenary

A House bill seeking to grant 100-day maternity leave with 30-day unpaid extension for working pregnant women in public and private sectors has passed the committee level and has been endorsed for plenary deliberations. DIWA party-list Rep. Emmeline Y. Aglipay-Villar, principal author of the bill, said the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality approved the pro-women measure and endorsed the proposed expanded maternity benefits for plenary discussions. “We approved the substitute bill and the committee report to help pregnant women nurture their babies during the first 100 days. On top of the 100 days, an extension of 30 days without pay will be permitted,” she said of the bill, which would allow mothers to spend more time with their newborns and encourage breastfeeding. “Families are the building blocks of our nation, and …

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Germany keen on forging closer ties with PH

The German government remains interested in forging closer diplomatic ties with the Philippines, German Deputy Ambassador Michael Hasper said yesterday, even as a member of German Parliament batted for the government’s continued protection of human rights in the country. During a forum conducted by the House Committee on Human Rights yesterday, Hasper assured that Germany is keeping “close” relations with the Philippine government after the controversial comparison made by President Duterte between his war against illegal drugs and Adolf Hitler’s actions against the Jews. “I am particularly happy today to be here and meet with you and with a member of the German parliament which shows the close ties between the Philippines and Germany. Just in October, a group of German parliamentarians visited the country and that shows (Germany’s) interest. It is …

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Subic-Clark bullet train service eyed; new airport terminal pushed

The Duterte administration is flexing its muscles to push through with its plan to construct a 60-kilometer railway and bullet train service from Subic to Clark freeports and vice versa. At yesterday’s House Committee on Transportation hearing on the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, newly-appointed Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Martin Diño said President Duterte will raise his government’s transportation plan during his trade and investment mission to China this month. He said the construction of the bullet train will be under the Public-Private Partnership with a Chinese company, branding it as one of the legacy projects of President Duterte. Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, one of the authors of the ‘emergency power’ bills, strongly urged Congress to fully scrutinize the projects to be implemented to ensure transparency and accountability in the …

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Duterte govt pushes Subic-Clark bullet train project

The Duterte administration is flexing its muscles to push through with its plan to construct 60-kilometer bullet train from Subic to Clark and vice versa. At Wednesday’s House Committee on Transportation hearing on the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, newly-appointed Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Martin Diño said President Duterte will raise his government’s transportation plan during his trade and investment mission to China this month. He said the construction of the bullet train will be under the Public-Private Partnership with a Chinese company, branding it as one of the legacy projects of President Duterte. Quezon City Rep. Winston "Winnie" Castelo, one of the authors of the ‘emergency power’ bills, strongly urged Congress to fully scrutinise the projects to be implemented to ensure transparency and accountability in the government. He said the Department of Transportation (DoTr) …

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House bill expands list of those exempted from revealing sources

The House Committee on Public Information passed yesterday a bill seeking to amend the “Sotto Law” to include journalists from broadcast, news agencies and Internet publications in the list of those exempted from revealing the source of published news or information obtained in confidence. Through the viva voce voting system, the panel, chaired by ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio approved House Bills 684 and 179, filed by Cebu Rep. Raul del Mar and AANGAT TAYO party-list Rep. Harlin Neil Abayon III. Both bills seek to amend Republic Act 53, as amended, which states that a journalist can refuse to reveal the source of a confidential news report or information except when the court or Committee of Congress finds that the revelation is demanded by the security of the State. “Oddly, however, the …

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