[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Nov 4 16:34:24 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 4 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo seeks 'middle ground' in legislated pay hike (abs-cbnnews.com)

"President Arroyo on Friday asked the business and labor sectors to find a "middle ground" in the issue of a legislated salary increase as she called for a dialogue between the sectors along with Congress and the executive department. 

"While the best path to uplift the poor is through a strong economy, we must consider direct mitigating measures to ease the pain. I ask labor and business to find a middle ground on a legislated wage hike, with the participation of Congress and the executive branch through the Department of Labor," Mrs. Arroyo said in a statement.

The President called for a "quadpartite" dialogue among the sectors involved that would consider the "full range of social, economic and political implications" of the proposal.

President Arroyo earlier asked Congress to prioritize a legislated wage hike to cushion the impact of the Expanded Value-Added Tax Law. Business leaders, however, opposed the proposal. 

The House committee on labor headed by Rep. Roseller Barinaga had already approved a measure seeking to increase the minimum wage by P125 a day. Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, however, doubts if the Philippine economy can afford to raise the minimum wage by P125 a day."

ECOP: Wage boards should decide pay hike (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) on Friday said the country's tripartite wage boards should decide on the proposed 125-peso across-the-board wage increase following President Arroyo's call to Congress for a new wage hike to cushion the inflationary effects of the expanded value-added tax (EVAT).

ECOP president Rene Soriano said the regional wage boards and not Congress should decide on the proposed wage increase. He said the wage board can determine if there are supervening conditions that warrant a wage adjustment.

"The problem with Congress is that there's too much politics, too much give and take, whereas the regional wage board is a tripartite body. You have representatives from the government, employers and from the labor sector," Soriano told DZMM

Soriano also said that it is not wise to come out with another pay increase right after the imposition of the EVAT law. He noted that 99.6% of the employers in the country are in the small scale industry and would be the most affected by the proposed salary increase." 


Pimentel: Arroyo made a 'shameful deal' with Ramos, Speaker (inq7.net)

"SENATE Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. Thursday accused President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of making a "shameful deal" with House Speaker Jose de Venecia and former President Fidel Ramos to force constitutional amendments in order to allegedly "prolong" her stay in office. 

"Now the cat is out of the bag. President Arroyo is really not in favor of any cut in her term," Pimentel said.

He was reacting to De Venecia's statement that in a recent meeting with the President, Ms Arroyo agreed to fast-track Charter amendments so that elections for a new parliamentary government could be held in 2007.

The Speaker said Ms Arroyo would be allowed to serve out her term until 2010 as a "symbolic President" with a prime minister exercising strong executive powers.

Pimentel said the President's "self-serving posture" confirmed that she was merely using Charter change to prolong her stay in power and divert attention from calls for her resignation or ouster.

He said the deal also "unmasks the deceit and double-talk" of Ramos and De Venecia that the President must cut short her six-year term.

Pimentel said the three leaders' agreement to shift to the parliamentary system in 2007 was a mockery of the constitutional amendment process.

He said the three preempted the presidential Consultative Commission and the Congress on the issue of whether Ms Arroyo's term would be cut short if there is a shift to a parliamentary system."


Evidence against 6 US Marines is strong--RP authorities (inq7.net)

"THE EVIDENCE is strong against six American servicemen accused of gang-raping a 22-year-old Filipina inside the sprawling Subic Bay commercial hub north of Manila, Philippine authorities have said. 

"There was obviously no consent," Zosimo Paredes, executive director of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFACOM), said of the alleged All Saints' Day rape by US Marines on liberty, inside the Freeport that once served as a military base for the United States.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza told INQ7.net in a phone interview Friday that there were witnesses, including the Filipino driver of a rented van where the alleged rape took place.

A condom was even found inside the van, said Arreza.

On Thursday, the six Marines, who participated in joint counterterrorism exercises in the Philippines, were barred from boarding their departing ship after a witness identified them as the culprits in the alleged gang rape."

ISAFP won't apologize to Babao, ABS-CBN (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Military intelligence officials will not issue a public apology to ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. for maligning the reputation of news anchor Julius Babao, ABS-CBN learned Friday. 

A report by DZMM's David Oro quoted AFP Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Intelligence Rear Admiral Tirso Danga saying that there was no reason for the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) to apologize to Babao or the network.

"Hindi siguro nararapat na gawin namin 'yan (public apology) dahil sa ginagampanan lang namin ang aming trabaho. As a matter of fact, itong paghuli namin kay Ahmad Santos namatay ang isang miyembro ng ISAFP (It's not appropriate for us to do that because we were only doing our job. As a matter of fact, an ISAFP member died when we arrested Ahmad Santos)," Danga said in a television interview Thursday night. 

AFP spokesman Angel Honrado added that there is no need for ISAFP to apologize to Babao, saying the intelligence agency did not categorically state that the broadcast journalist provided bail for terror suspect Dawud Santos." 

Inflation steady at 7.0% in Oct; within forecasts (XFN-Asia)

"THE CONSUMER price index rose 7.0 percent year-on-year in October, the same pace seen in the previous month, reflecting stable food prices, the National Statistics Office said. 

Compared to September, consumer prices in October were up 0.5 percent after rising 0.4 percent in the previous month. Inflation in October last year stood at 7.7 percent. 

The central bank had projected last month's annual inflation at between 6.5 and 7.0 percent while economists polled by XFN-Asia were looking at 6.8-7.1 percent. 

The October inflation brought the average rate for the first 10 months of the year to 7.9 percent, well ahead of the government's full-year target of 5-6 percent. 

The central bank is looking at full-year inflation of 7.6-7.9 percent. 

Prices of food, beverage and tobacco items -- which account for more half of the consumer price index -- rose 5.9 percent year-on-year in October, slightly faster than the 5.7-percent gain in September, the NSO said. 

Inflation for fuel, light and water stood at 17.6 percent compared with 17.3 percent in September. 

Cost of services jumped 10.4 percent in October against the previous month's 10.0-percent increase, while prices of clothing items rose at a slower 3.2 percent compared to 3.5 percent in September. 

Inflation for housing and repairs slowed to 4.4 percent from 4.8 percent in September, and miscellaneous items to 3.1 percent from 3.2 percent."


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