News Briefs: July 6, 2019
Senate bill to penalize 13 forms of discrimination
Sen. Sonny Angara has filed Senate Bill No. 137, or the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act of 2019, that would criminalize 13 forms of discrimination. The bill prescribes a penalty of one to six years imprisonment and a fine of up to P500,000 for any person committing acts of discrimination based on 13 protected attributes. The protected attributes include age, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief, political inclination or conviction, social class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital or relationship status, disability, health status or medical history, language and physical features. —Julie M. Aurelio
Supreme Court eyes regional office in New Clark City
The Supreme Court has signed an agreement with the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on a regional office at a 5.8-hectare site in New Clark City in Central Luzon. The 5.8-ha lot will be used, among others, as a regional office of the Supreme Court with an archive center, data center and a training center with living quarters, and for its attached agencies, such as the Philippine Judicial Academy, the Judicial, and Bar Council and the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Office. —Roy Stephen C. Canivel
Agriculture sector still in crisis, group laments
Despite the retention of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, farmers group Kilusan para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan said there would still be no changes in the policy direction of the government. Jansept Geronimo, the group’s spokesperson, said Piñol had many profarmer proposals but they had been overturned in the Cabinet and ignored by President Duterte himself. —Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Mining firm pushes back against Nueva Vizcaya gov’t
Mining firm OceanaGold Corp. has sought a court injunction against the Nueva Vizcaya government for stopping its operations in Didipio during the pendency of its financial technical assistance agreement (FTAA) which expired on June 30. The company sought a renewal of the FTAA and was allowed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to continue operations. But Nueva Vizcaya Gov. Carlos Padilla ordered capitol employees to prevent Oceana from operating. The hearing was set on July 10. —Karl R. Ocampo
Duterte appoints third Belgica to gov’t agency
President Duterte appointed lawyer Jeremiah Belgica as director general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority on Friday. Belgica is the younger brother of Greco Belgica, a commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission. The two are sons of Grepor Belgica, who was named presidential adviser for religious affairs on May 20. —Julie M. Aurelio
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