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News Briefs: Jan. 22, 2019

04:58 AM January 22, 2019

Duterte stays for 2 hours at wake of Henry Sy Sr.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday paid his last respects to the late taipan Henry Sy Sr. and condoled with his family at  Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City.

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The President stayed at the wake for two hours, his spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Monday.

“The President paid his last respects to the late tycoon and talked with the siblings headed by Mrs. Tessie Sy-Coson,” Panelo said.

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Sy died in his sleep on Saturday, leaving behind a business empire with holdings in retail, property development and banking, among others.

He was 94.

Widely considered as “the father of Philippine retail,” Sy was the world’s 52nd richest person and the country’s wealthiest for 11 successive years with a net worth of $19 billion (about P1.05 trillion), according to Forbes magazine.

He migrated to the Philippines from China’s Fujian province at the age of 12. —Christine O. Avendaño

Bureau of Immigration posts record revenues in 2018

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) posted a record income of more than P7 billion in 2018.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement that as of November 2018, the bureau’s total revenue collections for the year already stood at P7.03 billion, nearly P1.5 billion more than the P5.58 billion it earned in 2017.

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“We expect our total income to surpass P7.5 billion in 2018 after revenues from our main office and field and satellite offices for December are added to the 11-month collection figure,” Morente said.

“From only P2.7 billion in 2012, our yearly income has increased four-fold, thanks to the efforts of the government in marketing the Philippines as a prime tourist and investment destination,” he added.

He attributed last year’s phenomenal rise in immigration fee collections to the success of the government’s programs that attracted foreigners to visit and do business in the country. —Tina G. Santos

Japan donates P54-M flood-control equipment

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) received from the Japanese government recently over P54 million worth of equipment to enhance the agency’s disaster response capabilities.

The donation, part of Japan’s nonproject grant for the Philippines, consists of eight mobile drainage pumps and 17 generator sets with tower lights.

The equipment will be deployed in several disaster as well as flood-prone areas across the country, according to Public Works Undersecretary Emil Sadain.

The mobile pumps will be given to DPWH regional offices in the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen and the National Capital Region.

Sadain said the mobile pumps would help reduce flooding in  urban areas as these could drain up to 7.5 cubic meters of water per minute. —Jovic Yee

Oil companies raise diesel, gasoline prices anew

Pump prices of petroleum products went up for the third straight week as crude oil prices rose in the world market. Shell, Seaoil, Caltex, PTT, Total, Eastern, Phoenix and Flying V on Monday announced a price increase of 40 centavos per liter of diesel and 10 centavos per liter of gasoline.

Shell, Seaoil, Caltex and Flying V also increased prices of kerosene by 15 centavos per liter.

Prices of Dubai crude, the bellweather for Asian markets, reached $58.86 per barrel on Jan. 20 from $57.64 last Jan. 14.

According to the Department of Energy, 1,639 retail stations, or 19 percent of the 8,630 total number of outlets across the country, are already selling products that carry the second tranche of taxes imposed under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

The law adds P2.24 per liter to pump prices of diesel and gasoline. —Ronnel W. Domingo

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