No settlement with Mighty, DoF insists

The Department of Finance (DoF) reiterated on Monday that the government would not settle with cigarette maker Mighty Corp. over its P9.56-billion tax-evasion case. “Any settlement is now out of the question until the courts say so,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in a statement. Dominguez said the BOC operation, conducted in Barangay Matimbubong in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, would strengthen the case against Mighty Corp. The seized cigarette packs from the March 24 raid in Bulacan were assessed to have P2.4 billion in unpaid taxes. Dominguez said frequent inspections done by the BOC and BIR on warehouses suspected to be storing cigarettes with counterfeit tax stamps were necessary to expose and sue tax dodgers.

March 27, 2017 17:03 UTC

AirAsia returns to CRK with Clark-Kalibo flight

AIRASIA celebrated its return to the Clark International Airport (CRK) on Monday with the launch of its first Clark-Kalibo flight. AirAsia launched commercial flights from Clark in 2012 before transferring its hub to Metro Manila following a strategic partnership with local carrier ZestAir in 2013. Meanwhile, a Clark to Davao flight will be launched starting April 22 at a four-times-weekly schedule, AirAsia said. “We are growing the domestic markets first but we will (soon) connect you to the international markets,” Comendador added. Philippines AirAsia is part of the AirAsia Group, the largest low-cost carrier in Asia which serves over 120 destinations.

March 27, 2017 16:52 UTC

The Philippines a target and victim of clickbait journalism?

Clickbait to stop falling revenuesIn contemporary journalism, the term “clickbait journalism” is more recent than “fake news” and “post-truth politics,” which were crowned as words of the year by the Oxford Dictionary in recent years. Economics is similarly driving clickbait journalism in the 21st century. Although clickbait was first started by social media, mainstream media quickly caught on and realized the potential of clickbait journalism to generate more readers and stem falling revenues. Thus, I have concluded that the Philippines and President Duterte have been both targets and victims of clickbait journalism. Backlash against clickbaitNot surprisingly, there has lately emerged a backlash against clickbait journalism.

March 27, 2017 16:30 UTC

A hidden downside of nuclear power

There are currently 61 nuclear generating plants in the US, which produce about 20 percent of the country’s electricity. Nearly all of these plants, in part due to the risky nature of nuclear power, are located in “out of the way places,” as the AP article put it—in semi-rural areas near small towns. Apart from all the organic economic activity, the companies operating nuclear plants are generous with CSR initiatives, again in part because of the not altogether unreasonable perception that nuclear power is potentially dangerous. For places that do not have a strong local economy, the nuclear plants have been a godsend. For communities that host nuclear plants, the closures are disastrous.

March 27, 2017 16:30 UTC

Bato: Drug deaths homicide, not EJK

MANILA, Philippines - It’s just plain homicide, not extrajudicial killing (EJK), Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said of the thousands of deaths in the administration’s vicious war on drugs. He said under Administrative Order 35, EJK covers killings of members of the media, activists and advocates of agrarian reform. “Give me one single presentation that the PNP showed the term EJK. It’s the media that is insisting to use the term EJK, let’s face it. You’re ramming the term EJK down our throat because that’s what you like,” Dela Rosa told reporters.

March 27, 2017 16:30 UTC

Philippines to conduct air patrols in Benham

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will use its newly acquired TC-90 aircraft from Japan to patrol the West Philippine Sea and Benham Rise where incidents of China’s incursion were recorded. The Philippine Navy officially received the first two of five TC-90 patrol planes from the government of Japan yesterday. Japan has agreed to lease five patrol planes to the Philippines at minimal cost. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Japanese State Minister for Defense Kenji Wakamiya led the turnover ceremony at the Naval Air Group headquarters in Sangley Point. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1Japan has temporarily leased TC-90 patrol aircraft to the Philippines under several agreements in 2015 and 2016 pending another agreement that will allow Japan to donate the aircraft.

March 27, 2017 16:21 UTC

NPA anniversary march disrupts EDSA traffic

Although Director Oscar Albayalde, National Capital Region Police Office chief, said he was informed of the NPA rally in advance, he also wanted to know if Tremor acted accordingly during the rally, which created heavy traffic congestion along EDSA for about 30 minutes. “There is no problem with the rally because we allow it even if they have no permit from the local government units. But I wanted to know whether Tremor managed to ease the flow of traffic despite the rallyists occupying the middle of EDSA,” Albayalde told reporters. The NPA conducted the protest before its 48th founding anniversary on March 29. There can be no sustainable development without peace,” Dureza, also the presidential adviser on the peace process, said.

March 27, 2017 16:21 UTC

OSG to defend Leila’s indictment for drug trafficking

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is set to defend before the Supreme Court (SC) today the indictment and arrest of Sen. Leila de Lima on drug trafficking charges. He would ask the high court to reject the plea of the embattled senator to be released from detention while facing drug trafficking cases in the Muntinlupa regional trial court by issuing a status quo ante order on the arrest warrant against her. He said De Lima’s case is not an exception to the general rule that criminal prosecution may not be stayed or restrained. In an earlier manifestation, Calida questioned the validity of De Lima’s petition as he accused her of faking a certification and violating the rule requiring her to personally sign on the petition before a notary public. Petitioner stressed that under the law, such charges should fall under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, not the regional trial court because her position at the time was secretary of justice which has salary grade higher than 27.

March 27, 2017 16:18 UTC

Eurozone firms’ appetite for cash slows

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Growth in eurozone banks’ lending to businesses slowed in February, figures from the European Central Bank showed Monday. Lending growth to the private sector—businesses and households —in the 19-nation single currency area eased to 2.0 percent in February, after holding steady at 2.2 percent in the previous two months. The ECB uses the lending data as one yardstick for the effectiveness of its easy-money policies of low interest rates and mass bond-buying, designed to pump cash through the financial system and into the real economy. Looking beyond February’s data, “the overall impression remains that the eurozone economy has had a very decent first quarter of 2017,” IHS’ Archer said. That could prompt the ECB to drop long-standing language suggesting it could lower interest rates even further at a future meeting, he went on.

March 27, 2017 16:18 UTC


What is true for personal finance ought to be true for our energy policy. We cannot attract investments in manufacturing if our power costs remain high. Today, our energy policy choices are different but nonetheless stark in their consequences for our economic future. Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1On the one hand, we can go for a realistic and economic energy policy that seeks cheaper and reliable power costs as the basis for inclusive economic growth. To generate one MW of solar power, we need to devote 1.5 hectares of land.

March 27, 2017 16:18 UTC

We have no fear, says hit man in drug war

“We have no fear, nor does it bother our conscience, when we kill these people,” the hit man says. The confessed hit man defends the extrajudicial killings in President Duterte’s war on drugs and takes the leader’s encouragement and promise of protection as his license to kill. Mr. Duterte, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, dismissed the picture as “dramatics.”The documentary tracks the killings from the day Mr. Duterte became President. But we do believe we are taking out the really bad people.”The hit man takes Mr. Duterte’s words as a shield against arrest and prosecution. Mr. Duterte has said the war on drugs would not stop until the last drug lord or pusher or user has been taken out.

March 27, 2017 16:10 UTC

The novel cure

In business, fiction has largely been ignored because its only function seems to be entertainment. Lost is the fact that fiction, far more than entertainment, offers models of simulation of the social world. Readers share the thoughts and emotions of the characters in the stories, which are abstractions of the realities of the human social world. In one of their studies, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RME) was administered. Reading a novel may be helpful for reversing the transformation.

March 27, 2017 16:07 UTC

Preparing OFWs for work abroad

Conducted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), PDOS provides critical information regarding overseas employment so that OFWs know what to expect in their foreign destination. The PDOS will hopefully provide our OFWs with the means to cope with their new work environment especially during their first few months of work abroad. With the number of Filipinos leaving the country to work or live abroad, attendance at the seminar is at an all-time high. Other PDOS providers include the non-government organizations (NGOs) and industry associations (IAs) such as the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. (PASEI). To date, there are 210 accredited PDOS providers for sea-based, 31 for land-based, 11 NGOs and seven industry associations.

March 27, 2017 16:07 UTC

‘Drug lords behind Duterte smear drive’

DRUG lords and politicians may be behind the latest “smear attacks” against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Malacañang claimed on Monday. The President,” PNP chief Ronald de la Rosa told reporters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. “NYT’s very obvious demolition work flies in the face of the very high approval ratings that [President Duterte] enjoys. Death figures ‘persistent, irritating’Part of the demolition job, the PNP chief said, was to keep on linking every killing to the government’s anti-drug campaign. The PNP chief said: “They are presenting this not only to the local but international community.

March 27, 2017 16:07 UTC

Rappler’s 7,000 and its war against statistics

Rappler’s fixation on death statistics has turned its reporting to a war on statistics itself. It incorrectly assumed that all unexplained deaths are conclusively related to the war on drugs. The only certain deaths due to the government’s war on drugs is 2,555. Rappler made the wrong conclusion that all 7,080 deaths are linked to the war on drugs. But Rappler is the one that is out to get the President, even if it has to declare a war on statistics by misrepresenting deaths to propagate fakery.

March 27, 2017 16:07 UTC

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