BI reviews visa upon arrival policy

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newsThe Bureau of Immigration (BI) is now reviewing the visa upon arrival (VUA) policy to determine if the scheme should be refined or be completely scrapped. Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the BI’s review started about a month ago and has already identified loopholes in the system. The VUA is a facility available to Chinese tourists only. Perete however said other foreign nationals can also avail of it if they fall under the following categories:1) Foreign investors/businessmen endorsed by the BOI, PRA, PCCI and other chambers; 2) athletes and delegates to sports competitions; 3) delegates/participants to international conventions; 4) foreign investors / executives in investments endorsed by the govt; and 5) officials of the WB, ADB and other development partners.

Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act

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philstar globalLambasted on multiple occasions over lewd jokes directed at women, President Duterte will be the first to obey the recently signed “Bawal Bastos” law, which imposes stiffer penalties on gender-based sexual attacks, Malacañang said yesterday. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act demonstrated how Duterte recognized the need to prevent gender-based sexual harassment. “Since the President signed that law, it means that he recognizes the need [for] that law. And since he is the chief enforcer of all laws of the Philippines, he will be the first one to obey the law,” Panelo said. When Duterte cracks lewd jokes, he is not being obscene, Panelo said, and that the jokes are meant to entertain his audience and not to offend. “First of all, you’ve assumed that the President is bastos (lewd), naging bastos (that he was ever lewd). He never was bastos. When he cracks jokes, it was intended to make people laugh, never to offend,” Panelo said. “If you will just listen to the jokes of the President talagang matatawa ka eh, matatawa ka (it will really make you laugh). Audience … ‘di ba, they give a hearty laughter. Hindi naman bastos (it’s not lewd),” the Palace official said.


Duterte says he will fire BOC execs

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newsPresident Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would be firing Bureau of Customs officials when he goes back to Manila. Duterte said this during his speech at the inauguration of the Chen Yi Agventures Rice Processing Center in Alangalang, Leyte. “When I go back, I would be firing more from the Bureau of Customs. I’m just telegraphing. Maybe ilagay ko na sa Army yang di na ako maniwala not allowed to work, idiots. If my country is sinking, I cannot help my country?” he said. “I will go for the Customs again. There will be a lot of dismissals.

Try to stop the corruption in the higher class,” he added. Duterte was earlier criticized for saying he would let the military takeover Customs amid allegations of widespread corruption. But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo had defended the President, saying that as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Duterte was “merely exercising his constitutionally mandated functions” when he issued the order for the military to takeover BOC. In 2018, Duterte fired commissioners and department heads of the Bureau of Customs as the agency was rocked with drug smuggling scandal.