MANILA -- Early in President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, a trusted confidant floated the idea of a “constitutional dictatorship” granting the former city mayor expansive executive and legislative powers. Three years later, the president is nowhere near such immense powers, his spokesman and chief legal counsel said, but critics insist this does not mean the Philippines isn’t on a path to authoritarianism. One indicator, said journalism professor Danilo Arao, is the “chilling effect” on the news media brought about by the President’s continuous attacks on select media organizations. A recent Social Weather Stations survey showed free expression remained “very strong” under Duterte, but Arao said “it’s a different matter altogether when you look at the state of the press.” A media group earlier compiled 128 cases of attacks on journalists, including physical assault and online harassment, under the Duterte … [Read more...] about Are Filipinos less free under Duterte?
Or less abs cbn news
MANILA — Her lithe frame wrapped in crash guards, Angkas CEO Angeline Tham maneuvers a big bike past a row of orange cones, nearing the finish line of her safety course as support mounts for efforts to legalize motorcycles as a commuter alternative in the traffic-choked Philippine capital. The Singapore-born mother of one says she is on a mission to save office workers from tardiness, prevent gridlocks from driving a wedge between girlfriend and boyfriend who live on opposite ends of the metropolis, and make roads safer for bikes and 4-wheeled vehicles. Tham, who left Grab to start Angkas after the former’s bike-hailing service folded in the Philippines, says she often gets told “bawal yan (that’s prohibited)" or “hindi pwede (that's not allowed)” but she presses on, taking from her favorite Tagalog expression, “Bahala na si Batman (Leave it to Batman).” “If you believe you’ve done all that you can, then bahala na si Batman … [Read more...] about Meet Angkas’ expat CEO who gives new meaning to ‘Bahala na si Batman’
Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment should be the sole agency overseeing the issuance of employment permits for foreigners amid a massive influx of foreigners working in the country, a lawmaker said Wednesday. Sen. Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, said the Bureau of Immigration issued some 180,000 special working permits to foreigners last year. In about the same time span, hundreds of foreign nationals have been caught working--in both private and government projects--without the correct permits. Senators express concern over foreign workers in PH "Sa sarili natin ng bayan, nanakawan pa tayo ng trabaho na para sa mga kababayan natin," Villanueva told ANC's Headstart. (Jobs are being stolen from our countrymen in our own land.) "Why would BI do something like that when the Constitution itself states na hindi mo pwedeng ibigay 'yan sa foreign nationals, itong mga trabahong … [Read more...] about Only DOLE should issue special working permits: Villanueva
rehabilitate the popular sunset viewing spot. This followed President Rodrigo Duterte's warning on Tuesday for establishments along the bay to follow environmental regulations or face closure, citing the bay's trash problem. Duterte tells Manila Bay establishments: Shape up or face closure Samples were collected from the body of water near Manila's port area, the heavily-populated Baseco compound and the SM Mall of Asia. An earlier inspection of other water outfalls in the area showed that the Manila Bay's average fecal coliform level was at 330 million most probable number (mpn), 3.3 million times above the standard 100 mpn that is ideal for swimming. The DENR’s goal is to reduce the coliform level to less than 270 mpn by December 2019, the agency said in a statement. "Establishments have to put up their own sewage treatment plants (STPs). They cannot discharge their wastewater in the esteros," Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu said. "We are giving them three months to … [Read more...] about DENR tests Manila Bay water quality ahead of rehab
MANILA -- Philippine banks are moving to collect some $412 million in debt from Hanjin, as the Korean shipbuilder that is hit by a slowdown in global demand sought court-assisted rehabilitation, officials said Friday. The country's largest lender BDO Unibank along with Bank of the Philippine Islands and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp confirmed loan exposures to Subic Bay-based Hanjin. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, which first reported on the debt, identified Metrobank and LandBank of the Philippines as among 5 creditors. Hanjin, which employs 3,000 people at its shipyard north of Manila, has $2.3 billion in assets and the rehabilitation filing was a "proactive move" to avoid default, said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority administrator Wilma Eisma. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Hanjin's $412 million in loans accounted for just 0.24 percent of the Philippines' total gross loans or 2.48 percent of FCDU or foreign currency deposit unit loans. Hanjin's debt woes will not adversely … [Read more...] about Philippine banks seek to collect millions from downturn-hit Hanjin