Allowances in excess of 30,000/yr. – TAXABLE

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) declared Wednesday that allowances and bonuses received by all officials and employees in government and the private sector are subject to income tax if the amount is in excess of P30,000 per year.

“There is no exemption,” BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto S. Henares stressed.

The BIR chief spelled out the requirement in the Internal Revenue Code (Sections 244 and 245) following disclosure at the Senate impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona that high tribunal justices were recipients of tax-free multi-million-peso bonuses and allowances through the years.

Supreme Court spokesman, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, admitted that the extra income of the justices have not been placed under the withholding tax system since the time of Chief Justice Hilario Davide.

He said, however, that there is no problem if the BIR decides to collect the deficiency income taxes due from these allowances and bonuses.

But Henares would not say whether she has issued instructions to Manila Revenue Regional Director Pete Madulara to collect the back taxes, saying the audit on the extra income of the justices like any other investigation is “strictly confidential.”

Other revenue officials said that under the Tax Code even the 13th-month pay and other Christmas bonuses are also subject to income tax if the amount goes beyond P30,000 per year.

The tax is slapped on the excess of the P30,000 threshold.

They said certain “de minimis” (small value) allowances are tax exempt under Revenue Regulations 2-28, including monetized unused vacation leave, medical cash allowance, rice subsidy and uniform, or clothing allowance.

The BIR earlier filed last month a P12 million tax evasion charges against Jesus Santos, counsel of former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo , for alleged non-declaration of his allowances and bonuses received from the Government Service Insurance System as member of its board of trustees from 2006 to 2009.

BIR insiders said Corona and other SC justices could not be charged for the same offense as their earnings from the SC are covered by the Substituted Filing System of the BIR in which the task of filing income tax returns is done by SC treasurers and accountants.

“If ever criminal complaints are filed, the respondents should be the justices, but it was the SC accountants who were designated as withholding agents of the BIR,” one of the sources added

Source: Yahoo News

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Bus Driver’s Minimum Wage starting February

Beginning February 1, bus drivers and conductors plying the NCR route will receive minimum wage and other mandatory benefits.

DOLE’s Department Order No. 118-12 Series of 2012 mandates a fixed and performance based compensation scheme in the public bus transport industrya novel scheme which drastically changes an age-old commission-based pay practice.

According to Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, the fixed componentconsists of an amount mutually agreed upon by the owner/operator and the driver/conductor, which shall not be lower than the minimum wage while theperformance-based component shall be based on the safety and business performance such as ridership, revenues/profitability, and other related parameters.

DOLE hopes that by improving the compensation and working condition of bus drivers and conductors, road accidents and traffic violations due to jostling among bus drivers for passengers, will be reduced.

NWPC Executive Director Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III explained that the NWPC is mandated by the law to fix and determine the applicable minimum wage, not only on regional and provincial level, but also on industry level.

The benefits include 13th month pay, holiday pay, rest day, overtime pay, nightshift differential, retirement pay, service incentive leave, maternity, paternity, and parental leave, and other leaves mandated under the Magna Carta for Women.

Also, they will be entitled to Pag-IBIG Fund, PhilHealth, Employees’ Compensation Law, Social Security System (SSS), and other social welfare benefits, the Department Order states.

Meanwhile, the NWPC will issue the operational guidelines to implement the compensation scheme including the formula to be used by bus companies. Companies may submit their proposed compensation scheme to respective Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board on or before March 31, 2011.

Also, the safety and health of bus drivers and conductors, the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) will issue a Safety and Health Manual for the Bus Industry which will be implemented and promoted by the operators.

The Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will provide training, assessment and certification to ensure drivers have the knowledge and skills in driving and basic troubleshooting. The certificate from TESDA is one of the requirements in getting Certificates of Public Convenience from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

In the first six months but not later than one year from the effectivity, the provisions in this D.O. shall be liberally construed to enable compliance by the bus companies.

The D.O. was published on 17 January 2012 at The Philippine Star.

Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph

MRT and LRT Train Schedule and Fare

Here’s a helpful  guide for an easy MRT and LRT ride.

It has weekly train schedule,travel time guide and fare table.

MRT Guide

MRT Weekly Train Schedule

Tip:  Click the the actual image for a larger view.

LRT Guide

TRAIN NORMAL OPERATING SCHEDULES

LRT Line 1 System

Weekdays:

5:00AM ►First train leaves the Baclaran Station bound for Roosevelt Station.

9:30PM ►Last northbound commercial train leaves Baclaran Station for Roosevelt Station.

10:00PM►Last southbound commercial train leaves Roosevelt Station for Baclaran Station.

Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays

5:00AM ►First train leaves the Baclaran Station bound for Roosevelt Station.

9:00PM ►Last northbound commercial train leaves Baclaran Station for Roosevelt Station.

9:30PM ►Last southbound commercial train leaves Roosevelt Station for Baclaran Station.

LRT Line 2 System

Weekdays:

5:00AM ►Start of operation.

9:30PM ►Last commercial train leaves Santolan Station bound for Recto Station

10:00PM►Last commercial train leaves Recto Station bound for Santolan Station

Saturdays,Sundays and Holidays:

5:00AM ►Start of operation.

9:30PM ►Last commercial train leaves Recto Station bound for Santolan Station

Click here for LRT1 Fare L1CurrentFareMatrix

LRT Line 1 Tickets

► Single Journey 1 Ticket [Brown]
  • Sold for Php20.00 each.
  • Can only be used once.
  • Valid only on the date of purchase
►Single Journey 2 Ticket [Green]
  • Sold for Php12.00 each.
  • Can only be used once.
  • Valid only on the date of purchase.
► Single Journey 3 Ticket [Red]
  • Sold for Php15.00 each.
  • Accepted at all LRT Line 1 Stations.
  • Can only be used once.
  • Valid only on the date of purchase.
► Stored Value 1 Ticket [Blue]

Sold for Php100.00 each.

  • Accepted at all LRT Line 1 Stations.
  • Multiplerides.
  • With LastRide Bonus (i.e. ticket is still valid for one more ride even if the remaining balance is less than the minimum fare and at least P0.50)
  • Valid for six (6) months from date of first use.
► Stored Value 3 Ticket [Orange]
  • Sold for Php80.00
  • Accepted at all LRT Line 1 Stations.
  • Available only to senior citizens or disabled passengers upon presentation of valid ID at the ticket booth.
  • Multiple rides.
  • With Last Ride Bonus (i.e. ticket is still valid for one more ride even if the remaining balance is less than the minimum fare and at least P0.50)
  • Valid for six (6) months from date of first use.

Click here for LRT2 FareL2CurrentFareMatrix

LRT Line 2 Tickets

► Single Journey Ticket [Violet]
  • Sold for Php12.00, Php13.00, Php14.00, Php15.00 each.
  • Accepted at all LRT Line 2 Stations.
  • Can only be used once.
  • Valid only on the date of purchase.
► Stored Value 2 Ticket [Red]

Sold for Php100.00 each.

  • Accepted at all LRT Line 2 Stations.
  • Multiple rides.
  • With Last Ride Bonus (i.e. ticket is still valid for one more ride even if the remaining balance is less than the minimum fare and at least P0.50)
  • Valid for six months from date of first use.
► Stored Value 4 Ticket [Pink/Orange]
  • Sold for Php80.00
  • Accepted at all LRT Line 2 Stations.
  • Available only to senior citizens or disabled passengers upon presentation of valid ID at the ticket booth.
  • Multiple rides.
  • With Last Ride Bonus (i.e. ticket is still valid for one more ride even if the remaining balance is less than the minimum fare and at least P0.50)
  • Valid for six (6) months from date of first use.

 Expired Tickets

      Tickets will expire if:

  • Single Journey tickets which are valid only on the day of purchase is used after day of purchase.
  • Stored Value tickets which are valid for six (6) months from the date of first use at the gate is used after the said six month period.
  • If ticket is used to exit in the same station after thirty (30) minutes from entry.
  • If ticket is used to exit the system after one hundred twenty (120) minutes from entry.

What to do:

  • Passenger is required to buy another ticket.

 Damaged Tickets

       Ticket that are scratched, folded, written-on or exposed to magnet are considered damaged.

 What to do:

  • For Single Journey tickets, passenger buys another ticket for Php 12.00 and pays penalty of Php  9.00 for damaged ticket.

  • For a Stored Value ticket, passenger surrenders the damaged ticket to the station teller who shall fill up a Ticket Incident Report (TIR) so that the ticket could be analyzed for its remaining value. The passenger shall be given the blue copy of the TIR which will be used when claiming for the remaining value of the ticket five (5) days after filing of the TIR.

Source: MRT and LRT Website

Government Agencies ( Contact Details and Website )

For those working in private companies, the usual link they would like to have access to is the SS and the telephone numbers of the same.  Through this link they will be able to monitor their monthly contributions and check if their respective employers are  diligently remitting their hard earned money.

However for government employees, there is GSIS or the Government Service Insurance System.

For everyone, the site of PAG-IBIG, PHILHEALTH , DFA, LTO and BIR are likewise material, so check the following resources for your reference.

SSS – Social Security System –
http://www.sss.gov.ph
Tel. No. (632)9206401/9206446

GSIS – Government Service Insurance System
http://www.gsis.gov.ph/default.php?id=6
Tel. No. (632) 4793645

PAG-IBIG – Home Development Mutual Fund
http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/
Tel. No.(632)7244244

PHILHEALTH – Philippine Health Insurance Corporation
http://www.philhealth.gov.ph/
Tel. No. (632) 4417442

BIR – Bureau of Internal Revenue
http://www.bir.gov.ph/
Tel. No. (632)9297676

NSO – National Statistics Office
http://www.census.gov.ph/
Tel. No.(632)7160807/7137074

DFA – Department of Foreign Affairs
http://www.dfa.gov.ph/main/
Tel. No. (632) 9229061-66

LTO – Land Transportation Office
http://www.lto.gov.ph
Tel. No.(632)9297676/9272511

DOLE – Department of Labor and Employment
http://www.dole.gov.ph/
Call Center Hotline – 527-8000

Happy 5th Birthday, Nuffnang!

Happy 5th Birthday Nuffnang! Keep up the good work!

Nuffnang will be celebrating its 5th birthday on February 27 and they want us to be there!

When: February 27, 2012

Time: 8 PM – 12 MN

Where: Borough, The Podium Mall, 12 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

Dress code: BLUE!

If you want to win invites to their party, all you have to do is submit a blog post entitled “Happy 5thBirthday, Nuffnang!” and give your most creative birthday greeting!

Mobile Passport Services Schedule from March to April 2012

The Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Consular Affairs will be having their Mobile Passport Services (MPS) to different locations around Metro Manila and chosen Provincial area.

Consular teams will be in the following areas on the following dates:

March 3

  • San Jose Del Monte City
  • Quezon City

March 10

  • Santa Maria, Bulacan
  • Bustos, Bulacan

March 17

  • Rodriguez, Rizal
  • North Caloocan City

March 24

  • San Lorenzo Village,
  • Makati City
  • Bocaue, Bulacan

March 31

  • Guimba, Nueva Ecija
  • Muntinlupa City

April 14

  • Taytay, Rizal
  • Paranaque City

April 21

  • Malolos City
  • Rizal Provincial Government

April 28

  • Tanay, Rizal
  • Taguig City

Earthquake:52 killed in Negros Oriental

At least 52 people were killed when a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Negros and Cebu provinces shortly before noon Monday, causing landslides and huge cracks on highways, and violently shaking buildings, officials said.

A three-story building collapsed, while seven bridges were rendered impassable, they said.

In Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, at least 29 people were feared dead following a landslide in Barangay (village) Planas, Mayor Ernesto Reyes said in a phone interview. He said there could be more fatalities in other barangays.

“They were buried in 30 feet (10 meters) of soil. If you had been buried from noon until now (6 p.m.), I don’t expect you to be alive,” Reyes said.

Rescuers dug with picks and shovels trying to reach dozens of people trapped under houses that collapsed, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Ten others died due to a landslide at the Guihulngan national road, Reyes said.

Governor Roel Degamo said a 9-year-old girl,  Bernadette Raidan, died when a wall collapsed in Tayasan town.

Twelve other fatalities were listed by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Eight were from Guihulngan, one each from Jimalalud and Bindoy towns, and two from Tayasan.

The earthquake, which struck at 11:49 a.m., was located 5 kilometers northwest of Tayasan town in Negros Oriental, and was tectonic in origin. It had a depth of 10 km. The US Geological Survey placed the magnitude at 6.7.

In Manila, Malacañang urged the people affected by the earthquake to remain watchful and calm, and to cooperate with the authorities “while the threat of immediate dangers appears to have passed.”

President Benigno Aquino III ordered the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to assess and collate the extent of the damage and casualties, and to provide the necessary interventions, his spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, said in a statement.

Tsunami warning

The temblor also prompted a tsunami warning from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), alerting residents near the coastal areas of Negros and Cebu to watch for unusual waves but not requiring any evacuation.

The alert was canceled after no further reports of unusual sea level changes were received after the two-hour extended observation period.

But more aftershocks could be expected in the next few weeks in areas near the epicenter, according to Ishmael Narag, officer in charge of the Phivolcs’ seismology division. As of 1 p.m. Monday, Phivolcs had recorded 16 aftershocks.

The quake triggered another landslide in the mountain village of Solongon in La Libertad town, also in Negros Oriental. An unknown number of people were trapped, said Inspector Eric Arrol Besario, the town police chief.

“We’re now getting shovels and chainsaws to start a rescue because there were people trapped inside. Some of them were yelling for help earlier,” Besario told AP by phone. Three key bridges in the town cracked and were no longer passable, he said.

The earthquake sent shoppers scrambling under tables and workers and students rushing out of their buildings in cities of Negros and Cebu.

Classes in all public and private schools in Negros Oriental were suspended, while businesses in Dumaguete City were closed.

Building cracks

In Negros Occidental, the earthquake caused cracks in the city halls of Sagay and Cadiz, and the city hospital and gymnasium of Himamaylan.

Big waves damaged two houses and an ambulance fell on its side in Barangay Martilu, La Libertad, according to Mayor Lawrence Limkaichong. Two houses were also reported damaged in the town of Jimalalud, some 100 kilometers north of Dumaguete.

Huge waves washed out five bamboo and wooden cottages from a beach resort in La Libertad, but there were no reports of injuries, said Superintendent Ernesto Tagle. Elsewhere along the coast, people rushed out of schools, malls and offices.

Two people died in another town close to the epicenter, Tayasan, including a child when a concrete fence of a house collapsed, said Benito Ramos, head of the Office of Civil Defense.

Church wall collapse

Another child was killed in a church when a wall collapsed during a funeral in Negros Oriental’s Jimalalud town, Mayor Reynaldo Tuanda said.

Tayasan police officer Alfred Vicente Silvosa told AP by phone that aftershocks were preventing people from returning to their homes.

“We are outside, at the town plaza. We cannot inspect buildings yet because it’s dangerous,” Silvosa said. “I felt the building shaking, so I rushed out of the building. Our computers, shelves, plates, the cupboards, water dispenser all fell.”

A three-story office building also collapsed in La Libertad, but occupants escaped.

Scared cops

The Negros Oriental police chief, Edward Carranza, said police rushed out of his building when the quake struck. “All my personnel ran out fearing our building would collapse,” he said.

“Now it’s shaking again,” he said as an aftershock hit. “My keychain is dancing.”

In Negros Occidental, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia ordered the suspension of work and classes in all public and private offices and institutions. He, however, directed the city’s disaster team to be on alert and to inspect buildings for cracks.

In Iloilo City, employees and students rushed out of offices and classrooms as buildings swayed. Classes in the city and province were suspended in anticipation of aftershocks. Government employees were sent home in the afternoon.

A blackout occurred in the city, but power was normalized at 3:45 p.m.

The earthquake was slightly felt in Boracay Island and a few Mindanao and Luzon provinces.

Medical attention

Guihulngan Mayor Reyes said about 100 people were injured and brought for treatment to Guihulngan District Hospital and neighboring district hospitals.

Reyes said Guihulngan had about 100 patients who are in need of immediate medical attention. “We need to transport these patients to Bacolod, Cebu or Dumaguete but our roads and bridges are impassable,” he said.

Food and medicines were waiting in the provincial capital of Dumaguete, but the aid could not reach the villages in need because of damaged roads and bridges.

“There is a Canadian and an Indian doctor who are here for an earlier scheduled medical mission and it’s a good thing they are helping us,” Reyes said. “They have some medicines with them but that may not be enough.”

All bridges and roads leading to the north and south of the city were damaged, leaving it isolated, he said. These included the bridges of Martilo in La Libertad, Pangaluan in Jimalalud town, and Tinayonan in Guihulngan.

Many buildings were damaged, he said. “The Landbank building is leaning on one side while a portion of our public market collapsed.”

Cracks appeared along sections of the national highway and on public and private buildings, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement.

Series of quakes

The first earthquake occurred at 11:49 a.m. with a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of 20 km. The epicenter was located 72 km north of Dumaguete, 74 km west-northwest of Tagbilaran City and 80 km west-southwest of Cebu.

A second tremor hit various areas in the Visayas at 12:03 p.m. at a depth of 34.8 km. The epicenter was located 62 km north of Dumaguete, 69 km west-northwest of Tagbilaran and 84 km southwest of Cebu.

Still, a third tremor was felt at 12:20 p.m. with a magnitude of 4.8 and a depth of 34.8 km. The epicenter was located 71 km south-southeast of Bacolod City, 84 km west-southwest of Cebu and 84 km north of Dumaguete City.

Bobby Cañete of the local Phivolcs station in Palo town in Leyte said that the series of earthquakes felt in the region was caused by the movement of the Philippine Sea Plate diving down under eastern Philippines along the Philippine Trench. With reports from Jhunnex Napallacan, Carla Gomez and Nestor Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas; Christine O. Avendaño and Leila B. Salaverria in Manila; and AP

By 

Source:http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/140881/quake-kills-52-in-negros-oriental

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