Good day. Here are the top stories of The Manila Times for Monday, May 29, 2023.

READ: 'Betty' weakens as it nears NLuzon

TYPHOON 'Betty' (international name: "Mawar") slightly weakened Sunday as it moved closer to Northern Luzon. Its maximum sustained winds weakened to 165 kilometers per hour from 175 kph near the center while its gustiness decreased from 215 km/h to 205 km/h based on the 5 p.m. weather bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa). Pagasa said the eye of the typhoon was estimated based on all available data 630 km east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. The typhoon also slightly decelerated to 15 km/h. "Betty" is expected to maintain its track until Monday, but it will not hit land. The weather bureau placed more areas in Northern Luzon under Signal No. 1. Pagasa said Betty will almost be stationary by Tuesday over the waters east of Batanes, before heading Wednesday or Thursday toward the sea east of Taiwan. By early Monday morning, it is forecast to be 485 km east of Aparri. By Tuesday afternoon, it is expected to be 215 km east-southeast of Basco, Batanes.

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READ: Arroyo firm: I did not plot speaker's ouster

HOUSE Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Second District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Sunday reiterated that she did not plot to unseat Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. She said she made "a humble contribution to the joining of forces that became the UniTeam, and the resulting supermajority in the House is a major force for delivering President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s agenda. Rumors of a conspiracy to overthrow Romualdez circulated after Arroyo was demoted from senior deputy speaker to deputy speaker last May 17. She was replaced by Pampanga Third District Rep. Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr. Arroyo said in a May 18 statement that she aspired for the House speakership when Marcos won the presidential election last year, but that she was no longer interested in the position.

READ: Hi-tech city to rise in Clark

A "SMART" city will be developed in Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Development Corp. (CDC) Chief Agnes Devanadera said. The city will rely heavily on cutting-edge technology, Devanadera said on SMNI's "Business and Politics" program hosted by The Manila Times Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dante "Klink" Ang 2nd. Investing in advanced technology is high on the agenda of CDC since it does not require huge land space, she said.Clark has been recognized as an emerging business hub in Central Luzon and the country's premier tourist destination. While the Philippines has several freeports and economic zones, South Korean firms prefer Clark, where there is a community of around 30,000 Koreans, Devanadera said. To discuss further plans for the project, a delegation from the Korean government is arriving in the country this week.

READ: DoT rolls out city bus tours

THE Department of Tourism (DoT) on Sunday launched its "Hop-on, Hop-off" city bus tourism project in Makati City. The department said the project was a collaboration between national and local governments, the private sector, and tourism stakeholders that would eventually be expanded to include all the cities in the National Capital Region. The DoT said the project would provide a world-class transport and joint booking system that would integrate technology and destination management in one app for tourism. It also aims to carry out the department's three-point agenda of connectivity, convenience and e-quality. The tours will operate from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to and from Makati and Manila. Tourists can disembark from the buses at any of the designated stops and can travel from there.

Topping Business

READ: DoF: Added revenues from reforms up 26.3%

IMPLEMENTATION of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) earned the government P202.8 billion in additional revenues last year, Department of Finance (DoF) data showed. The result, which was 26.3 percent higher compared to 2021's incremental income of P160.5 billion, was attributed to a "full economic recovery as a result of the easing of strict quarantine measures." Broken down, the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law generated an additional P216.5 billion in 2022, 27 percent or P45.5 billion higher than 2021's P171.0 billion. Package 1B of the CTRP, also known as the Tax Amnesty Law 3, contributed additional revenues of P1.4 billion, down 69.6 percent or P3.2 billion from the previous year's P4.6 billion in 2021 to P1.4 billion in 2022. Collections from Package 2+ comprising additional "sin" taxes totaled P65.3 billion in 2022, a 23-percent or P12.4 billion increase over the P52.9 billion collected in 2021. Implementation of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) law, on the other hand, led to revenue losses of P80.4 billion in 2022, up 18 percent or P12.4 billion from the real impact of P68.0 billion in 2021.

In Sports

READ: Buzzer-beating Celtics force Heat to Game 7

With a dramatic buzzer-beater from Derrick White, the Boston Celtics forced their NBA Eastern Conference Finals series with the Miami Heat to a winner-take-all Game 7 in a heart-stopping 104-103 win in South Florida on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). The Celtics became just the fourth team in NBA history to level a best-of-seven playoff series after trailing 3-0. They will now have a chance on Monday to mark an even more impressive milestone if they can become the first team to win a series after losing the opening three games and earn a place in the final against the Denver Nuggets. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 31 points and had 11 rebounds and five assists, while Jaylen Brown came up with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Butler went into the fourth quarter with just nine points but ended with 24, while Caleb Martin provided 21 points for Miami.

READ: Hall, Schenk share lead at Colonial

England's Harry Hall sank clutch putts from about 10 feet on the last two holes to share the lead after Saturday's (Sunday in Manila) third round of the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge. Hall hung tough after back-to-back double bogeys to shoot a two-over par 72 and stand level with American Adam Schenk on 10-under 200 after 54 holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Hall, ranked 197th in the world and chasing a first ever win on the PGA Tour, reached the top with a birdie at 17, and stayed there with a tense par putt at the 18th. Schenk, a 31-year-old seeking his first PGA title, fired a 67 that included back-to-back birdies at the start and a birdie at 18 as well.

READ: Opinion/Editorial

Today's editorial says buoys are part of a chess game in the South China Sea. Read the full version on print and its digital edition or listen to the Voice of the Times. Featured columnists on the front page are Rigoberto Tiglao, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino and Francisco Tatad. Tiglao says DTI is inutile inutile in regulating Shopee and Lazada; Aquino asks whether the Commission on Higher Education exists while Tatad talks about the widening split between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte.

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