News Briefs

/ 07:23 AM December 15, 2018

Popcom gets new name, mother unit

The Commission on Population (Popcom) has been renamed as the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) and is now under the National Economic and Development Authority. President Duterte on Thursday signed Executive Order No. 71 renaming the agency, which used to be attached to the Department of Health. Malacañang released a copy of the two-page executive order on Friday. The EO said managing the population was part of strategies to achieve goals set in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 “to increase the country’s potential economic growth.” —JULIE M. AURELIO


MinDA exec charged with bringing husband to seminar

An official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Malacañang’s extension office in Mindanao, has been charged in the Sandiganbayan with graft for bringing her husband to a seminar at government expense. The Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor indicted Charlita Escaño for one count of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Escaño is finance and administrative services director of MinDA. Escaño’s husband, Alan, was an engineer who was not employed by MinDA. Yet, she allowed him to take over the spot of engineer Renato Buhat Jr. at the Basic Occupation Safety and Health Course for Construction Site Officers seminar held at the Ritz Hotel in Davao City on March 16 to 20, 2015. MinDA spent P6,000 on the seminar for Alan. —VINCE F. NONATO

Duterte, in change of tune, all praises for Pope Francis

President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to have had a change of tune on Pope Francis, whom he once cursed for causing traffic during a visit to the Philippines in 2015. “The current Pope is progressive,” said Mr. Duterte at the unveiling of a marker for the Mella Hotel in Las Piñas City. “I salute him,” the President added. His praise for the Pope, however, did not stop Mr. Duterte from attacking the Church anew. He claimed that 85 percent of priests were gays. —NESTOR CORRALES

Bersamin sets dress code, etiquette for court workers

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin will start his “house cleaning” in the judiciary with the strict implementation of the dress code and rules on the use of mobile phones during working hours. Speaking to court employees at the Quezon City Hall of Justice after a flag raising ceremony on Friday, Bersamin said justices, judges and court employees must wear decent and presentable clothes, adding that he wanted to bring back the good image of the judiciary starting with the clothes that employees and officials wear. Shorts and T-shirts would no longer be allowed. Wearing mini skirts was discouraged. Women should wear clothes with sleeves or wear blazers on top of sleeveless shirts. “No loud colors please,” Bersamin said. Bersamin said it was also not good for court employees to be seen and heard talking on their mobile phones during working hours. —JEROME ANING

Jobseekers get chance to work in Israel hotels

Jobseekers are getting an early Christmas gift. The Department of Labor and Employment recently secured at least 1,000 slots in Israel’s hotel industry. Through the agreement recently signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, those seeking jobs in the hotel industry now have the chance to be deployed to Israel. “They have an extreme demand for hotel cleaners,” Bello said. —JOVIC YEE

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