[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 8 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Nov 8 16:37:24 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 8 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo throws wage issue to wage boards (abs-cbnnews.com)

"President Arroyo on Tuesday said workers can still hope for a wage increase through tripartite boards that will tackle the proposal, backtracking on her support for a legislated wage hike, ABS-CBN News learned.

In a statement, the President's spokesman Ignacio Bunye said: "The dialogue with the businessmen and employers convinced [the President] that the best way to achieve effective social relief, while preserving jobs, is through strongly empowered tripartite boards, combined with strong, non-wage amelioration measures and safety nets."

Mrs. Arroyo earlier urged Congress to pass a law that will increase the salaries of workers since they have been pushing for a P125 wage increase.  Employers, however, were not open to a legislated pay hike. 

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) on Tuesday urged the palace to instead consider tax exemption for minimum wage earners.

ECOP president Rene Soriano said that ECOP still prefers that the regional wage boards decide on wage increases instead of Congress.

The Palace, however, assured that measures will be put in place to cushion the effects of economic pressures. 

"The President still maintains that the workers, particularly the minimum wage earners are in need of effective relief from current economic pressures," Bunye said."

ECOP urges workers' tax exemption (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) on Tuesday urged Malacañan to consider tax exemption for minimum wage earners instead of pushing for a legislated pay hike.

"Alam mo sinabi na namin ng ilang beses ito siguro tingnan natin ang tax exemption. 'Yung employees na sumusweldo ng minimum wage lang na sa ngayon sa Maynila ay P325 e dapat i-exempt na natin sa tax 'yan (We are telling this time and again--why not give minimum wage earners tax exemption. Those workers who are receiving P325 minimum pay should be given tax exemption)," ECOP president Rene Soriano said.

Soriano said that in that manner workers' take home pay will increase and the government would still be earning from minimum wage earners as they would be paying value-added taxes in their purchases.

Some labor groups are also supporting moves to exempt low salaried workers from taxes to enable them to cope up with the daily cost of living." 

Congress won't touch deferment on EVAT law (philstar.com)

"The chairman of the House committee on ways and means Tuesday considered as moot and academic pending proposals to defer the expanded value added tax (EVAT) since the EVAT is already being implemented by the Arroyo government. 

"Because the law has been implemented in full already with gratifying results, the deferment proposal is moot and academic," said Lapus. 

Lapus, whose committee was instrumental in the passage of the EVAT measure, welcomed the positive impact generated by the EVAT implementation on the economy. 

"Per record, we have a strong peso and local stock markets days after the EVAT took effect on November 1," said Lapus. 

Following the EVAT implementation, Lapus said the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), which sets the priorities for legislation, should decide if any change of urgent agenda is in order." 

Hearing dates for accused US Marines set (inq7.net)

"THE hearing dates for the six US Marines accused in the rape of a 22-year-old Filipina are November 23 and 29 in Olongapo City, prosecutor Raymond Viray said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Viray also said the process server was on his way Tuesday to the Department of Justice (DoJ) to give the subpoenas for the suspects. The DoJ, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, will send the subpoenas to the US Embassy in Manila.

Viray said the subpoenas direct the six respondents -- Keith Silkwood, Daniel Smith, Albert Lara, Corey Barris, Chad Carpenter, and Dominic Duplantis -- to submit their counter-affidavits and those of their witnesses within 10 days of receipt of the subpoena.

During this time, Viray said, the accused American servicemen are just asked to appear for the proceedings, but their presence is "not mandatory.""

RP can ward off bird flu-DA (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Philippines stands a good chance of preventing the avian flu virus due to programs that are put in place by the government, Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban said Tuesday. 

Panganiban said he just attended a roundtable discussion recently among bird flu-affected countries. He said currently the Philippines and Singapore remained free of the deadly virus in the region.  He said the entry of the feared disease can be controlled in the country, citing two important conditions that are present in the Philippines that are not in affected countries.

Panganiban said first, unlike most countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has veterinarians in almost all municipalities, making the response to a possible bird flu case faster. In other countries, he said, the operations are centralized.

Second, he said, the government has already identified the areas where migratory birds are expected to frequent.  He identified those areas as Candaba swamp in Pampanga, Bugsoc in Bohol, Olango Island in Cebu, Zambales, Negros Occidental, Agusan del Norte and Liguasan Marsh in Sorsogon. 

He said the Department of Agriculture is implementing strict preventive measures to ensure that the virus does not enter the country.   Panganiban said these preventive measures include foot baths in all points of entry including airports and sea ports, especially in areas near Malaysia and Indonesia."

CCTA cries 'sabotage'; DoJ retorts: 'hallucination' (inq7.net)

"JUSTICE Secretary Raul Gonzalez dismissed as hallucination the accusations of people's court conveners Malacañang was sabotaging their public trial of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"Sabotage them? I think they are hallucinating," Gonzalez said, about an hour after a melee broke out during the opening of the Citizen's Congress for Truth and Accountability Tuesday in Quezon City.

Gonzalez also sneered at claims of CCTA head presenter and human rights lawyer Romeo Capulong that the government will slap the congress conveners with sedition charges.

He added: "I don't want to comment further on the issues they throw at us, it will only dignify their proceedings."

Capulong said his group will "stand by the integrity of the Citizens' Congress amidst the black propaganda and ignore all possible threats in order to pursue the truth.""

Pro-Arroyo group disrupts 'people's court' (abs-cbnnews.com)

"A proadministration group disrupted the opening session of the supposed "people's court" at the UP Theater in UP Diliman, Quezon City, on Tuesday, ANC reported.

Members of the Alliance for National Democracy (ANAD) reportedly booed members of the Citizen's Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA) composed of anti-Arroyo personalities who convened to look into the charges of the failed amended impeachment complaint against President Arroyo.

At least one person was hurt in the melee when members of the UP Diliman police escorted the protesters out of the UP Theater. 

ANAD members were reportedly "heckling" speakers in the "people's court.""

Shares close higher led by PLDT; main index at 5-month high (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed higher Tuesday with the main index settling at its strongest level in five months with PLDT leading winners after reporting record nine-month earnings, dealers said. 

They said the credit rating upgrade by Standard & Poor's on some blue chips also boosted market sentiment. 

The composite index closed up 16.88 points or 0.83 percent at 2,046.93 after trading between 2,026.31 and 2,049.54. It was the index's best finish since June 6 when it ended at 2,051.04. 

Volume turnover reached 359.38 million shares worth 1.04 billion pesos. 

The broader all-shares index advanced 8.37 points to 1,238.25. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 45 to 26 and 46 stocks ended unchanged."

      Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate 
      Official Rate from the Philippine Dealing System 


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.614 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 08, 2005 3:00 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.

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