News Briefs: December 14, 2018

/ 05:00 AM December 14, 2018

Duterte issues new rules on gov’t vehicle purchases

Citing the outdated guidelines on technical specifications of motor vehicles, President Duterte has ordered the adoption of a centralized system for procuring government vehicles. The President issued Administrative Order No. 14 aimed at “consolidating and rationalizing the rules on acquisition of government vehicles.” The directive said “recent developments in the automotive industry have rendered existing guidelines on the technical specifications of government motor vehicles outdated.” The centralized policy is aimed at “procuring in the most efficient and economic manner motor vehicles that are cost effective, fuel-efficient and environment-friendly, and at par with improvements and developments in the automotive industry and the relevant technology.” —JULIE M. AURELIO


Road Board ‘must stop’ using road users’ tax funds

The Senate said the Road Board should stop releasing and using funds from the road users’ tax, as both houses of Congress have passed a measure to abolish the agency. Minority Leader Franklin Drilon noted that despite both chambers’ approval of the bill, the measure had been held up at the House of Representatives. The House rescinded its approval of the measure abolishing the Road Board in September. But Drilon said that legally, both chambers have already approved the measure. The Senate adopted the House version of the bill before the latter decided to rescind its approval. He said the adoption of the House bill dispensed with the need for a bicameral conference committee. Senate President Vicente Sotto III has signed the enrolled copy of the bill.  —LEILA B. SALAVERRIA


Gaming firm plans to sue PCSO GM for defying DOJ

A gaming company on Thursday readied legal action against Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office(PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan for allegedly disregarding a resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ) upholding the legality of its operations. Bernard Vitrolio, lawyer for Globaltech Mobile Online Corp., said Balutan may be held in contempt if the PCSO would still go after the company’s “Peryahan ng Bayan” draws. The DOJ on Dec. 3 dismissed the criminal complaints against 15 of Globaltech’s personnel earlier arrested by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents. The PCSO and the NBI raided Globaltech’s office in Quezon City last month over the operation of Peryahan, a numbers game patterned after the small town lottery crafted by the PCSO to curb “jueteng.” —MARLON RAMOS

BI to deport 69 foreigners without proper work visas

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is set to deport 69 foreign nationals found illegally working in the country without proper visas. The 45 Chinese and 24 Koreans were apprehended by a joint task force composed of immigration agents and Clark Development Corp. (CDC) security officers at Dongwang Clark Corp. and Clark Sunvalley Country Club. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the task force initially invited 93 foreigners for verification of travel documents after receiving reports that they were working with tourist visas at the two sites. The 69 were charged with violation of Section 37 (a)7 of the Philippine Immigration Act. The 24 other foreigners, all Koreans, were released after presenting valid work permits. —TINA G. SANTOS

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TAGS: gaming firms, news, Philippines, Road Board, vehicle purchases
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