[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 14 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Nov 14 16:32:26 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 14 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Salceda: Economic gains not due to EVAT (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"Albay Rep. Joey Salceda on Monday disputed a Palace statement that the slight improvement of the economy can be traced directly to the implementation of the Expanded Value Added Tax Law (EVAT) last November 1. 

Salceda said the strengthening of the peso and cuts in local pump prices were caused by declining world crude prices and the influx of remittances from overseas Filipino workers.

"If oil prices went up and there were no OFW remittances, the EVAT wouldn't have any effect," he told DZMM. 

Salceda, chairman of the House of Representatives' committee on economic affairs, said the immediate effect of EVAT was an improvement in the country's finances but also translates to a bigger burden to the country's workers. 

"There will eventually be a spillover (through more jobs) supposedly but there is also a negative impact because a lot more is going out of the pockets of the consumers," he said. 

He said he will continue to push for a deferment of the sales tax on oil and power until June 2006, adding that oil prices should stabilize first before the EVAT is implemented. 

He added that the government should invest more in infrastructure, housing programs, and projects that will improve tourism.

Malacañan earlier claimed that EVAT had churned out improvements in the economy."

Results of ABS-CBN internal probe dispute Palace raps vs Babao (www.abs-cbnnews.com) 

"ABS-CBN released Monday the results of its internal investigation, which disputed charges made by Malacañan that news anchor Julius Babao helped a suspected terrorist.

The investigation also determined that Babao committed no ethical infraction.

The network's official statement reads:

"After a thorough investigation which tracked down primary participants and documents which chronicle the events, ABS-CBN concludes that Julius Babao did not post nor guarantee bail in the case of suspected terrorist Dawud Santos.

"The attached report highlights factual errors in the 'circumstantial evidence' provided by ISAFP, the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"ABS-CBN also finds Julius Babao did not violate any ethical boundaries as a journalist in pursuing his exclusive stories. A more detailed breakdown and discussion also follows.

"Julius Babao returns to his anchoring duties on Monday, November 14.

"ABS-CBN values its reputation and that of its employees. That is why we embarked on this exercise of accountability and hope ISAFP and Malacañan will do the same."

No reward system for Customs, tax people, says finance official (www.philstar.com)

"A Department of Finance official Monday proposed the exclusion of employees of the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue from the rewards system for those who provide information on individuals committing tax fraud and smuggling. 

Finance Undersecretary Manuel Bonoan said apprehending officers of the two bureaus should not be given the ten percent reward since they will merely be performing their duties as government officials. 

Bonoan spoke before the Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Rep. Jesli Lapus (3rd District, Tarlac), which was discussing House Bill No. 3731 proposed by Rep Eduardo Zialcita. 

The bill proposes raising the cash reward for informers on tax evaders to 15 percent from the current ten percent of the revenues, surcharges or fees recovered and penalties collected from violators of the National Internal Revenue Code arrested based on information given by informers. 

In proposing the scrapping of the reward system for government employees, Bonoan said that the Lateral Attrition Law provides a uniform reward system for both Customs and Internal Revenue employees." 

Threat of flu pandemic among top priorities for APEC meeting (www.philstar.com)

"HANOI (AP) - One hundred chickens turn up dead in a backyard on the outskirts of Vietnam's capital. A 20-year-old woman dies in Indonesia after being hospitalized with a high fever. Chinese authorities order every bird found within three kilometers (two miles) of an infected village to be slaughtered. 

Almost every day in Asia comes a fresh reminder of the threat posed by bird flu, which experts fear could be the source of a human pandemic that could kill millions. 

The regularity of reports of new outbreaks and deaths also underscores the difficulties governments face in stamping out the threat. 

Only recently have governments and international health officials begun formulating a global response to bird flu, and the effort is among the top issues at summit of leaders from 21 Pacific Rim economies this week. 

The H5N1 strain of bird flu, which began ravaging poultry flocks in late 2003, has made its way from Asia to eastern Europe via migrating birds. Bird flu has been found in Turkey, Romania, and Russia. Most recently, it was discovered in Kuwait in a migrating flamingo."

Shares close lower on continued technical correction (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed lower as the market's technical correction continued for a second session, dealers said. 

They noted that the pullback was natural in the absence of strong fresh positive leads and after the main index rose to its highest level in eight months last Thursday. 

The composite index ended down 20.63 points or 0.99 percent at 2,072.05 after trading between 2,066.22 and 2,092.68. 

Volume was 409.16 million shares worth 495.08 million pesos. 

The broader all-shares index was down 9.29 points at 1,256.18. 

Losers beat gainers 49 to 22, while 44 stocks ended unchanged. 

"This decline is purely technical in nature," Unicapital Securities Inc analyst Elena Ponceca said. "The market needed a breather before it could continue with its positive trend." 

Dealers noted that the low turnover suggests most market players are anticipating another rally and are retaining most of their holdings. 

"Foreign investors have kept on buying. They've been accumulating over the past nine days even when the index declined last Friday," Ponceca said." 

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.533 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 14, 2005 3:05 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.

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