[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 26 August Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Aug 26 09:57:32 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 26 August Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Impeachment battle shifts to psywar (news.inq7.net) 

"HOUSE Majority Leader Prospero Nograles yesterday said he was holding secret talks with at least seven lawmakers who were considering withdrawing from the impeachment complaint filed against President Macapagal-Arroyo.

But the opposition remained upbeat. Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano said two more lawmakers were set to join the complaint. "The next few days will be critical," he said.

Nograles said most congressmen were being turned off by the opposition's tactic of "insulting" those who had not signed the complaint.

Also yesterday, Sen. Manuel Villar said his wife was thinking of signing the impeachment complaint. Rep. Cynthia Villar of Las Piñas is one of 20 Nacionalista Party representatives.

"Of course if she signs there will be many members who will sign ... We're not a big party but we're close and whatever they decide, the party will be behind them," Villar said."

Gov't deploys 'enercops' (news.inq7.net)

"TEAMS of "energy police" will conduct spot checks to ensure compliance with a directive for government offices to cut power use by at least 10 percent.

President Macapagal-Arroyo has instructed the "enercops" to make surprise visits to grade government offices on compliance with the energy saving measures.

The measures range from raising air-conditioning temperatures in offices to unplugging computers to holding "virtual meetings."

"At this time of burden sharing, the government needs to show the way," the President said in an address aired on the government TV station NBN 4.

"Even before asking the private sector, civil society and households to help, the government should show how much we can discipline ourselves in this time of high oil prices," she said.

Ms Arroyo warned Saturday that rising oil prices threaten the country's foreign exchange reserves as well as its energy supply. For every $10 increase in world crude oil prices, the Philippines has to spend an extra $1.26 billion of its foreign exchange reserves."

'06 debt payments to exceed P1b daily (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"The country will probably have to pay more than P1 billion a day next year in interest on its loans, despite a proposed national budget that sets aside P931 million for such payments. 

Senator Ralph Recto, chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means, said these payments would also likely to be accompanied by the payment of P1.045 billion a day to cover loan principals. 

"There is a difference between what is written in the law and the actual money that leaves the Treasury," Recto said, citing 2005 as an example. "We can deduce that debt service allotments for next year are at best estimates. Historically, they tend to go up, not down." 

In the proposed 2006 national budget submitted by Malacañang Wednesday, P339.9 billion has been set aside for interest payments on debts. 

Amortization of loan principals, an off-budget item, is expected to reach P381.7 billion, bringing the projected debt payments next year to P721.7 billion. 

"The P721.7 billion is tentative; it's not something that's chiseled in stone," Recto said. "If history be the guide, it will be rewritten constantly." 

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