Balikbayan Boxes from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Importation Rules and Regulations: Customs Memorandum Order No. 27-2015 (Full Text)

[“Balikbayan Boxes,” according to the Bureau of Customs, “are packages of personal effects and/or “pasalubongs” sent by Filipinos residing or working abroad to their families or relatives in the Philippines to enhance Philippine tradition and culture for the promotion and preservation of strong family ties through love and caring expressed in gift-giving.” Under the new rules issued by the Bureau of Customs, balikbayan boxes sent by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to the Philippines shall not be subjected to random or arbitrary physical examination, but shall be subjected to mandatory x-ray scanning. The full text of the rules is reproduced below.]

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Ferdinand Marcos Burial Case: Supreme Court Decision in Ocampo et al. vs. Enriquez, G.R. Nos. 225973 (full text)

[The Supreme Court of the Philippines, voting 9-5, dismissed the petitions seeking to disallow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This is the full text of the Supreme Court’s majority decision in the Marcos burial case, Ocampo et al. vs. Enriquez, G.R. Nos. 225973, 225984, 226097, 226116, 226117, 226120, and 226294, 8 November 2016]. Continue reading

Electronic Clearing of Checks in the Philippines, Starting January 2017

[The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the implementation of the electronic clearing of checks, starting January 2017. This will speed up the clearing of checks from 3 to 5 banking days, down to 1 day. Issuers must consider the faster clearing of checks to avoid bouncing checks. To assist in the dissemination of this information, we are reproducing the media release of the BSP.] Continue reading

Voting Guidelines for the 2016 Elections (Gabay sa Pagboto: 2016 National and Local Elections)

[Note: The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued a set of guidelines to help voters during the 2016 National and Local Elections. We are reproducing the guidelines to assist in disseminating this important information. Here’s the full text of the “Gabay sa Pagboto: 2016 National and Local Elections” released by the COMELEC.] Continue reading

Rules and Regulations on the Liquor Ban in Connection with the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections (COMELEC Resolution No. 10095; Full Text)

[Note: The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. 10095, or the Rules and Regulations on the Liquor Ban in Connection with the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections. The liquor ban will be in force on the day before the election (May 8, 2016) and on election day (May 9, 2016). On these days, it will be unlawful for any person, including owners and managers of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other establishments of the same nature, to sell, furnish, offer, buy, serve, or take intoxicating liquor anywhere in the Philippines. Violations are punishable with imprisonment. The full text of Resolution No. 10095 is reproduced below.] Continue reading

Regulation of Ride-Sharing Services, Transportation Network Vehicle Service

[Note: On 8 May 2015, Secretary Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) issued Department Order No. 2015-011, amending Department Order No. 97-1092 to promote mobility. Among the amendment is the provision of the Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), which basically refers to existing “ride-sharing” or “app-based ride-hailing” services like Uber and GrabCar. The Philippines is the FIRST country in the world to regulate this service. There is, of course, an opposition from operators of taxis and Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), which are required to comply with certain requirements (e.g., franchise, insurance coverage). PUVs are common carriers and are issued the corresponding PUV license plates. The TNVS are private vehicles that can operate like PUVs and, for purposes of liability, will most likely be treated as a common carrier. PUVs must also secure prior approval from the LTFRB before they can raise fares, but TNVS, based on the D.O 2015-011, are not covered by the same requirement. On the other hand, ride-sharing private vehicles are not required to be registered with the LTFRB based on existing practice. This will change because the regulations now require the driver to be accredited with the LTFRB. There is a high likelihood that the driver will also be required to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which, in turn, will also require the registration with the local government (Mayor’s Permit). What do you think of the new regulations? Express your thoughts through the comment section below. The pertinent portion of Department Order No. 2015-011 relating to TNVS is reproduced below.]

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When the Use of Aliases Violates the Law

“Iqbal’s alleged use of aliases violates law — solon,” states the caption of a news article, referring to the allegation of Davao City Representative Carlo Nogales that the use of an alias by MILF Spokesman Mohagher Iqbal, apparently not his real name, in official documents “violates the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Alias law which prohibit the use of pseudonyms in public documents.” It might be helpful to have a summary of the laws the penalize the use of aliases. Continue reading

Primer on Wage Order No. NCR-19 (15-Peso Increase in Minimum Wage)

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-NCR (RTWPB-NCR) has approved Wage Order No. NCR-19 (full text), providing that all private sector minimum wage workers and employees in the National Capital Region (NCR) shall receive an increase in the existing Basic Wage in the amount of FIFTEEN PESOS (P15.00) per day. The new daily minimum wage rates of covered workers in the private sector in the NCR are as follows: Continue reading

The System of Fixing the Minimum Wage in the Philippines

Calls for the increase of minimum wages have surfaced with the constant increase of oil prices. This increase in the prices of gasoline and diesel almost always have the effect of raising all prices of goods and commodities. How is minimum wage fixed? What is the process in fixing the minimum wage? Let’s have a brief discussion on minimum wage determination. Continue reading