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.

Taxation of foreign POGO workers to start this month

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indexTHE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will start to collect taxes this month from foreign workers employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said. “I talked to the BIR end of last week and they said they are already in position to start collections from foreign workers in the POGO industry,” Mr. Dominguez told reporters in Pasay City on Monday. “BIR said they will start making the collections in July,” Mr. Dominguez added. He noted that the government foregoes revenue of about P2 billion a month for every 100,000 foreign workers that do not pay tax, amounting to P24 billion a year. Earlier, the BIR said that foreign nationals and non-residents planning to work in the Philippines should obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) before securing a work permit. “Calls have been made for a public inquiry into the proliferation of foreign workers in the country,” the bureau has said.