COTABATO CITY – The European Union (EU) is set to train Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) officials working in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) of the just-created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to make them effective administrators.
Initially, 41 middle executives from the MILF will be trained on public policy, governance and management by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS), and the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) “starting this summer,” an EU statement furnished Friday to the Manila Bulletin said.
The results of the referendum on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) was announced on January 25, 2018. Voters, who were expected the the proposal for an expanded Muslim-led region, delivered a convincing result of about 1.7 million in favor and some 254,600 against, according to official results from the Philippines elections commission.
Happy over the overwhelming support of the people, Moro Islamic Liberation Front* (MILF) rebel leader Murad Ebrahim told AFP news agency that "It was a landslide. There's been nothing like this."
With the passing of this law, citizens hope that it will bring a measure of peace after decades of fighting in the region has killed thousands and mired the area in poverty.
The turnout of the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law could make or break the decades-old peace process between the Philippines' national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (the Front), which started out as a secessionist armed movement in the southern island of Mindanao in the late 1970s.
If the "yes" vote wins, Bangsamoro - which means "Moro" nation - will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which has been criticized as merely nominal and failed to end the violent conflict that has left at least 120,000 people dead over the last five decades.
On paper, the proposed new Moro nation will be a more powerful and possibly larger political unit than the ARMM. It will have its own parliament, some exclusive powers previously held by the government in Manila, and a significantly larger share of local revenues. Above all, it will also mean the end of the Front's armed struggle, with the decommissioning of its 35,000 troops and its leaders taking positions in the new civilian government.
The 22-man Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to craft a new charter unanimously approved the draft constitution of the proposed Federal Republic of the Philippines.
The ConCom chairman, retired chief justice Reynato Puno, said the panel would present the draft charter shifting to a federal form of government to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 9 in Malacañang, ahead of the State of the Nation Address.
Under the proposed new charter, the President’s term will end in 2022. “That’s it. It’s not open-ended,” Puno said.
Bureaucratic and financial reasons are the real cause of the influx of military troops into the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
There are three compelling reasons that forced the PCG to open its gates to the members of the military. The first one is the legal provisions of the Philippine Coast Guard Law of 2009, which defined the hierarchical distribution of the ranks of its officers and the required equivalent ratio to enlisted personnel.
The second reason is that the ongoing reorganization of the PCG gives high regards to the professional qualifications, specialized skills, and distinctive competencies of its personnel. Lastly, recruiting former and active military personnel with such experience is more cost-effective than recruiting civilians.
The Philippine island of Boracay will be closed to tourists for six months following concerns of damage to its once pristine shores.
The island, known for its white-sand beaches, attracted nearly 2 million visitors last year. The decision has prompted concern for the thousands of people employed in Boracay's busy tourist trade.
National government debt—which ballooned to P6.65 trillion last year—will see a short-term increase as the Duterte administration implements an ambitious infrastructure program, the Finance department said on Wednesday.
Funding support from higher taxes under Train will be complemented by concessional financing packages from development partners, which Dominguez claimed would be well managed to ensure fiscal stability.
Economy likely slowed in 2017
The Philippine economy likely slowed as the year ended capping full-year growth to below the 6.9 percent recorded in 2016.
Estimates for the October-December quarter ranged from 6.4 to 7.1 percent with a 6.6 percent average, unchanged compared to the same period last year and below the third quarter’s revised 7-percent expansion.
Full-year estimates, meanwhile, ranged from 6.6-6.8 percent. The 6.6 percent average falls just above the lower end of the government’s 6.5-7.5 percent target for 2017.
A new tax reform package focusing on corporate profits and fiscal incentives has been submitted to the House of Representatives.
Package 2, which the DoF has said would be revenue-neutral, proposes to gradually lower the corporate income tax (CIT) rate to 25 percent from 30 percent while also modernizing incentives to make these “performance-based, targeted, time-bound, and transparent,” Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said.
The Philippines has retained the top spot in environmental sustainability in energy resources for the third straight year, the World Energy Council (WEC) said in a report.
“While not in the Top 10 overall,” the country “is leading the way on the environmental sustainability dimension,” WEC said in its World Energy Trilemma Index 2017, which covered 125 countries.
The index ranked these countries on their ability to provide sustainable energy through three dimensions: energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability.