AirAsia plane search, Bilibid probe, tax exemption | The wRap
Today on Rappler.
- Officials say the missing AirAsia plane likely sank to the bottom of the sea intact.
- Justice Secretary de Lima sacks more prison officials over VIP inmates.
- Some Filipino workers’ benefits will now be tax-exempt.
INDONESIA RESUMES SEARCH FOR MISSING AIRASIA PLANE
Indonesia resumes the search for an AirAsia plane that went missing early Sunday morning. AirAsia flight QZ 8501 disappeared en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, with 162 people on board. The Indonesian transport ministry says the pilot requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather. Authorities are focusing the search 270 nautical miles east of the island of Bangka, the area where the plane lost contact. Indonesian officials believe the plane is still intact, and sitting at the bottom of the sea. The search was called off as night fell. AirAsia had no major accident or plane crash on record.
DOTC, CAB: CEBU PACIFIC'S 'EXCUSES' UNACCEPTABLE
In the Philippines, budget carrier Cebu Pacific is under investigation for its bungled holiday operations that caused the delay of 100 flights on Christmas eve. The transportation department says it is “not satisfied” with Cebu Pacific’s explanation
blaming air traffic congestion and bad weather for the delays and flight cancellations. Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya says Cebu Pacific should have prepared a contingency plan for the Christmas season, to accommodate its passengers’ needs.
DE LIMA SACKS 4 MORE BILIBID OFFICIALS
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima sacks four more New Bilibid Prison officials Monday… after firing three over a week ago. This comes after a probe into the luxurious lifestyle of high-profile convicts in the state penitentiary. The investigation exposed the existence of ritzy villas... with appliances, sauna and jacuzzi baths, stripper bars, and wads of cash and jewelry. De Lima also vets inmates that will be given executive clemency. She says the pardon will be President Benigno Aquino’s gift for Pope Francis, who will visit the Philippines in January.
FILIPINO WORKERS TO ENJOY HIGHER TAX EXEMPTION
And a New Years gift for Filipino workers, they will now enjoy higher tax exemption on benefits starting January 2015. President Aquino approves a revenue regulation expanding the list of fringe benefits to be tax-free. Labor groups asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue or BIR to exempt fringe benefits and impose taxes only on the incremental amount of the negotiated minimum wage for regular workers. An estimated 104,225 pesos or 2,333 dollars worth of total benefits will be tax-exempt. The BIR will not collect around 17 billion pesos or 380.5 million dollars worth of taxes due to the increase in benefits.
AT LEAST 1 DEAD, 1 MISSING IN COMPOSTELA VALLEY FROM SENIANG
Tropical depression Seniang turns into a tropical storm threatening to pummel southern Philippines. At least one is reported dead while another missing after drowning in swollen rivers in the province of Compostela Valley. 100 families are in several evacuation centers in the province as floods and landslides hit some towns. A state of calamity is also declared in the province of Misamis Oriental. State weather bureau PAGASA says Seniang carries maximum winds up to 65 kilometers per hour near the center, and gustiness of up to 80 kilometers per hour. As of 4PM Monday, Seniang is located at 140 kilometers East Southeast of Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Storm signal number 2 is up over Bohol, Siquijor, Southern Cebu, Negros Oriental, Southern part of Negros Occidental, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, and Dinagat Islands. Signal number 1 is up over the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Camotes Island, the rest of Cebu, the rest of Negros Occidental, Guimaras, southern part of Iloilo, southern part of Antique, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Agusan del Sur, and Southern part of Iloilo.
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|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Exxon Ruebe|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
|Raffy de Guzman|
|GRAPHICS DESIGN / ANIMATION||Acid House