News Briefs

/ 05:20 AM December 28, 2018

New Nayong Pilipino board member named

President Duterte has appointed a new member of the board of trustees of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation to replace one of the officials he fired in August due to allegations of corruption.


New board member Patricia Maria Santiago replaces Rex Anthony Villegas.

In August, the President fired the entire management and board of the NPF over the long-term lease of the $1.5 billion Nayon Landing integrated resort, which Mr. Duterte found “grossly disadvantageous to the government.” Santiago will serve Villegas’ unexpired term, which will end on June 30, 2019. —JULIE M. AURELIO


BIR’s P59.8-M tax claim vs RCBC Savings canceled

The Court of Tax Appeals has canceled the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s P59.84 million income tax assessment against RCBC Savings Bank for the year 2006.

In a 35-page decision, the court’s Special First Division said the waiver that supposedly extended the period to assess the bank’s liabilities was void.

Under Section 203 of the National Internal Revenue Code, the BIR had until April 16, 2010, or three years after the last day of the filing of the income tax return to assess RCBC Savings.

RCBC Savings then executed nine waivers that extended the assessment period until Jan. 31, 2012.

But, the first waiver executed on Apr. 13, 2010, was void because it was only accepted by then-Assistant Commissioner Zenaida Garcia on Apr. 21, 2010—five days after the lapse of the three-year period under the tax code.

Under Sec. 222(b) of the tax code, such waivers should be executed “prior to the lapse of the period prescribed by law.” Since the first waiver was void, the eight subsequent waivers were void too. —VINCE F. NONATO


Bello: PTV 4 reporters should be regular employees

Although civil servants are not under his purview, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III thinks that reporters of state-run PTV 4 should be regular and not contract-of-service (COS) employees.

“If you ask me as a labor secretary, I would make them, recommend them to be regular employees so they won’t engage in fake news,” he said on Thursday.

Bello made the remarks when asked to comment on the prevalence of COS or “talent” employees at the state-run TV network, with 384 COS employees, including field reporters, out of 550 employees.

PTV 4’s COS employees reportedly received a letter from the management on Dec. 17 informing them that their services would not be needed in 2019 as part of the government’s austerity measures.

Government employees are under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission, he explained. —JULIE M. AURELIO

Extracting, exporting of river sand opposed

Residents of Barangay Kalaklan in Olongapo City are complaining against the alleged illegal extraction and exportation of sand from the Santa Rita River in Kalaklan.

In a letter to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Dec. 23, Kalaklan residents accused Great River Valley Philippines Inc. of theft of minerals together with an unidentified Singaporean company, which is reportedly the buyer.

According to residents, Great River is allegedly undertaking the illegal extraction of sand and loading it on big bulk-cargo foreign vessels for export abroad. Great River started dredging during the first week of December.

Residents monitored the departure of a big vessel at around midnight of Dec. 16 carrying thousands of metric tons of extracted sand and the arrival of another vessel a few days later.

Great River was awarded a P54.7-million contract by the government to dredge and desilt the mouth of Kalaklan of 729,893 cubic meters of silt and unsuitable materials to control flooding.

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