News Briefs: February 22, 2017

Local officials can now apply for foreign travel authority online – DILG 

MANILA – Local government officials and employees who need authority to travel abroad may now apply for it online, through a system developed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The "Foreign Travel Authority (FTA) On-Line System of Local Government Officials and Employees” allows its clients to "apply for travel permits in the convenience of their own offices and without having to visit the DILG central office,” Secretary Ismael Sueno said this week.

The law requires local government officials and employees to secure travel authorization from competent authorities to leave for abroad.

To apply using the FTA Online System, fill out the application form on www.blgs-pcmd.com and attach all the necessary requirements. The system will generate an "Application Number,” which the client will use to check on the status of his or her application.

The following should be attached to the application: 

– Rappler.com 

 

NGO complains to SC: Racing commission stations being used for cockfight betting 

The Liga ng Eksplosibong Pagbabago Incorporated (LEPI), a non-government organization, petitioned the Supreme Court to order the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) to stop allowing bettors to use off-track betting stations (OTBs) for online cockfighting bets. They claim the government loses P350 million yearly in tax revenues from the scheme.

Dr. Gilda Peralta, LEPI secetary-general, explained in the petition, "We are asking the Supreme Court to immediately compel Philracom to perform its mandate, that is, to protect our horseracing industry which has been a lucrative source of amusement tax revenue, by putting a stop to the illegal operation of online sabong (cockfighting) in the OTBs."

Peralta said there was 'no clear mechanism' to tax online cockfights, and the ease of access to online cockfighting via off-track betting stations was eating into the revenue of horseracing operations. The group's petition also said there was nothing in the mandate of the Philracom allowing online gambling – in this case cockfighting – to be done via off-track betting stations. 

The group added: “The conduct of online sabong in various OTB stations is patently illegal. More so, it had greatly prejudiced the horseracing industry. Worst, the same had deprived, and is continuously depriving, the government of some P350 Million Pesos of much needed revenues" – Rappler.com