State-run National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) said on Thursday the government is considering the option of building the Visayas-Mindanao grid interconnection project, instead of letting the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) carry it out, a government official said.
The project is part of the concession agreement of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the nationwide grid operator, but Transco remains the owner of the transmission assets.
“It is good that they [NGCP] are adjusting the target to 2020 [to finish the interconnection], but I want to look for a way that the cost of the connection should not be passed on to consumers,” Melvin A. Matibag, TransCo president and chief executive officer, said in an interview.
There is a need for tax policy reforms to address the collection gap from high-income earners and shift the tax burden from low- and middle-income households to the affluent sector, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).
Citing raw data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the DoF said in a statement Monday that 27.9 percent of taxes high-income earners should pay are uncollected as a result of a flawed system.
Thus, even if the BIR and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) were to improve collection efficiency to 100 percent, tax revenues to fund public investment program would not be enough given the inherent systemic flaws of the current tax system, which the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) aims to correct, the department said.
A high ranking official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday claimed that the department is still in the process of carrying out the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman to either dismiss or suspend close to 3,000 corrupt local government officials.
Arthur Condes, executive assistant to DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno, however, admitted that the 2,799 officials facing graft and corruption charges were committed during the previous administration.
The Department of Finance (DoF) is calling for an overhaul of obsolete land governance policies to prevent Metro Manila’s “urban nightmare” from spreading all over the country.
“I will be the first to admit our policies regarding land governance are in urgent need for updating,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in his keynote speech at the Conference on Sustainable Governance organized by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) held in Manila on Wednesday.
Unless the government acts swiftly to upgrade its land governance policies, other areas of the country will suffer the same fate as that of Metro Manila, where high land costs and the lack of provisions for road expansions inhibit the government’s response to the worsening problems related to urban congestion, the Cabinet official noted.
The Philippines government is due to begin peace talks with communist rebels on 18 January which could end one of Asia's longest insurgencies.
President Rodrigo Duterte has said he wants to "walk the extra mile" to achieve peace, in a conflict which has claimed an estimated 30,000 lives since the 1960s. BBC Monitoring's Mark Wilson examines the challenges ahead.
Malacañang and Congress have quietly kept alive the graft-ridden pork barrel system—declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court four years ago—in this year’s P3.35-trillion national budget, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Sunday.
“Pork barrel has been a very corrupt and corrupting system in our political institutions, which had been shortchanging millions of Filipinos who suffer from half-baked, even ghost projects,” he said.
Malacañang has designated the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to oversee the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) in the executive branch.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed Memorandum Order No. 10 on December 29, mandating the PCOO “as the lead agency in the implementation of executive order no. 2”
Any increase in Social Security System (SSS) pension should come only after the approval of the tax reform law that would make it easier to increase members’ contribution to the fund, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Tuesday.
Diokno said President Duterte was not in the same situation as when he was a candidate who had promised voters an increase in the pensions of retirees in the private sector.
As Chief Executive, Mr. Duterte now has access to more data concerning the SSS, Diokno said following reports that the President was still looking for ways to give the pension increase while protecting the life of the fund.
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