[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 8 August Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Aug 8 16:57:20 PHT 2005


*Newsbriefs **8 August** Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan*

***GMA not backing any candidate for ARMM polls* (www.philstar.com)

"President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not backing any candidate for the 
elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said a top 
Palace official Monday.

In a statement, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye declared outright, "The 
President has not endorsed any candidates in the ARMM elections."

"She believes in genuine autonomy founded on the freedom of choice 
exercised by the people themselves," Bunye said.

However, he added that, "Whoever is elected will get the full support of 
the President and the national government."

Residents of a self-governing Muslim-majority area in the southern 
Philippines voted for new leaders Monday in a poll boycotted by former 
Islamic separatists who had held power for nearly a decade.

More than a million residents are eligible to cast their ballots in the 
elections held every three years for a new governor, vice governor and 
24 seats in the regional assembly.

The region encompasses the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, 
Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur -- plus the city of Marawi."

***Magdalo men tapped to probe 4 generals* (www.manilastandardonline.com)

"The Armed Forces has enlisted the services of two junior officers to 
look into the role of four generals in an alleged plot to rig last 
year's elections.

Lt/SG Ronald Allan Uy and Anchines Alphonso Diola were implicated in the 
Magdalo mutiny of July 27, 2003 but were released from detention last 
July 22 for lack of evidence.

The duo were appointed as members of the fact-finding body's secretariat 
to assure the public that the board will be impartial in its investigation.

Vice Admr. Mateo Mayuga, the AFP's inspector General, who is concurrent 
chairman of the fact-finding body, said: "Their (Uy and Diola) presence 
could just be incidental but then again, it subtly means to ensure 
impartiality."

Among the tasks assigned to the two junior officers is to help collate 
evidence against the four generals, namely: Army Special Operations 
Command chief and incoming Army chief Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon; 1st 
Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Gabriel Habacon; PMA assistant 
superintendent Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani and former Southern Command 
chief Lt. Gen. (ret). Roy Kyamko.

Except for Gudani, the other officers were mentioned in the 
controversial "Hello Garci" tapes."

*RP on track with FY budget deficit target of P180B--Teves* (money.inq7.net)

"FINANCE Secretary Margarito Teves said the government is on track to 
achieve its official budget deficit target of 180 billion pesos this 
year, effectively junking an earlier estimate that the budget gap could 
be contained below 160 billion pesos on the back of higher revenues and 
substantial savings in interest payments.

Teves issued the statement after preliminary figures from the Bureau of 
Internal Revenue (BIR) showed the government's main revenue agency 
missed its revenue collection target for July by almost 20 percent.

Data showed the BIR, which accounts for about 60 percent of the national 
government's income, collected only 37 billion pesos for that month, or 
9 billion pesos off its target of 46 billion.

This brings the BIR's collections for the first seven months of the year 
to 297 billion pesos, roughly 5 percent lower than its target of 311 
billion.

Teves, in a statement, said the BIR shortfall for July is based on 
incomplete data and still does not include collections for the last week 
of the month. He said actual figures will be released on August 15.

"The BIR and Bureau of Customs hope to offset their shortfalls and get 
back on track by setting up various administrative measures, such as 
those that will improve sin tax [tax on alcohol and tobacco] and jewelry 
tax collection, among others," Teves said."

*4 flyover projects cancelled* (www.manilastandardonline.com)

"The government plans to cancel four flyover projects that were 
originally designed to ease traffic in the northern part of Metro Manila.

Rolando Tungpalan, deputy director general of the National Economic and 
Development Authority, said the four projects are under Phase 5 of the 
Metro Manila Interchange Project, which is one of the large-ticket 
projects that are being considered for cancellation.

Officials of Neda and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation 
(JBIC) are scheduled to meet in the next few weeks to discuss the 
implementation of some $10 billion worth of projects financed through 
official development assistance (ODA) loans.

Tungpalan said the talks will center on a "cleanup" of the country's ODA 
portfolio with the Japanese development bank and will involve a review 
of all the existing projects funded by the Japanese government to 
determine whether slow-moving projects should be cancelled.

While he did not identify the other major projects being considered for 
cancellation, he admitted that one of them is the multimillion-dollar 
Phase 5 of the Metro Manila Interchange Project, which involves 
construction of flyovers and underpasses.

JBIC, the largest ODA lender in the Philippines, has committed some 
$40.8 million (P2.28 billion) for the completion of the project. The 
government was supposed to raise a counterpart fund of only $1 million. 
Construction of the project was supposed to start as early as 2002."

*Hot money flows recover in July -- BSP * (www.manilastandardonline.com)

"Hot money flows, or foreign portfolio investments, recovered in July, 
with net inflows amounting to $76.8 million from $31 million in June, 
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported over the weekend.

Hot money flows are a good gauge of foreign investor sentiment on the 
economy. Foreign portfolio inflows amounted to $470.9 million in July 
while outflows totaled $394 million.

Net foreign portfolio investment flows in the seven-month period 
amounted to $1.93 billion, over a 1,000 percent more than the $140.7 
million net inflow reported in the same period last year.

Inflows reached $4.04 billion while outflows amounted to $2.12 billion 
in the seven-month period. About 70 percent of the foreign funds were 
invested in listed shares and some 30 percent in government securities."

*PSE Composite slightly unchanged. Down by .77. Closed at 1,974.83.
The Philippine Peso value against the US Dollar had a weighted average 
of 56.031 as compared to Friday's 55.910.*


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