[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 22 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Nov 22 16:19:23 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 22 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo lauds Hong Kong OFWs for their 'record remittances' (inq7.net)

"President Gloria Arroyo lauded Monday overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) based in Hong Kong for their "record remittances" which, she said, have contributed to the upliftment of the country's "macro economic" figures. 

Macro-economic figures include indicators in the field of investment, tourism, foreign exchange rate, OFW remittances and other factors that reflect the overall economic progress of a country. 

In a roundtable discussion in Malacañang with members of her economic team, the President said that the unprecedented growth of these figures contributed to the favorable outlook and renewed confidence of foreign investors in the Philippines. 

"The record remittances of our OFWs in Hong Kong this year, which comprise part of our rising macro figures, have given the country the much-needed boost of confidence to attract foreign investors," she noted."


DBM orders govt agencies to declare savings (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has ordered government agencies to declare their savings for the year, which will be used to determine the additional cash bonuses of government workers, DZMM reported Tuesday. 

Budget Secretary Romulo Neri said he issued a circular to government agencies to declare their savings before the end of the month. He said the amount of government savings will determine how much each government employee will get as cash gift in addition to the mandated one-month Christmas bonus.

"There are about a million (government) employees so let's say if we get about P3 billion to P4 billion worth of savings, that's about P3,000 to P4,000 per employee," he told DZMM. 

The DBM released P3,000 cash gift per government employee in February after declaring savings of P3.4 billion last year due to the government's austerity program."

Palace brushes off Pulse Asia survey on Arroyo exit (inq7.net)

"Saying even US President George W. Bush suffers a slump in popularity, Malacañang claimed on Tuesday that it was not bothered by a recent survey, which showed that most Filipinos wanted President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out of office.

"Rarely can one see a President rating high in surveys," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said in reaction to a Pulse Asia poll, which showed that nearly six out of 10 Filipinos did not trust Arroyo and believed that she cheated in the May election in 2004.

"Even George W. Bush, who is the President of America, suffers from low rating," he said.

The administration should simply work hard and do what it is supposed to do so that its rating would improve, Ermita said."

DA official denies blackmail try on Magsaysay (abs-cbnnews.com)

"A Department of Agriculture official on Tuesday denied that DA officials tried to pressure Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. to stop the Senate inquiry into the P728 million fertilizer fund scam involving President Arroyo. 

Belinda Gonzales, agriculture undersecretary for administration and finance, said she and Assistant Secretary Felix Jose "Joey" Montes only tried to warn Magsaysay about the senator's endorsement of what they thought was a bogus foundation.

Magsaysay is chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture and foods, which is investigating the alleged misuse of P728 million in government funds for the purchase of fertilizer. 

"I have no intention of blackmailing the senator and stop the fertilizer probe. I cannot remember saying anything that could make the senator think that we are blackmailing him," Gonzales told ANC. 

She said she was concerned after finding out that the senator had allegedly endorsed a spurious foundation as one of the recipients of agricultural funding assistance."

Jimenez release reset to Dec 13 (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The release of former Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez from the US Bureau of Federal Prisons has been reset to December 13, ANC reported Tuesday.

ABS-CBN North America Bureau chief Ging Reyes reported that Jimenez, who was originally scheduled for release last November 5, would have to wait a few more weeks before being released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

Philippine Consul Lourdes Legaspi told Reyes that the Bureau of Federal Prisons had reset Jimenez's release to December 13 because he committed an infraction. Legaspi did not say what the infraction was, which could have been a violation of prison rules."

 Senate holds closed-door hearing on defense, military budget (inq7.net)

"THE SENATE acting as a committee of the whole held the budget hearing of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in executive session on Tuesday.

The closed-door hearing was conducted on the request of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who said that openly discussing government plans to liquidate the insurgents was like "telling the enemy what we're doing to finish them up."

Asked if the three-billion-peso Kalayaan fund for 600 villages would be discussed in the executive session, Enrile said that it should be since this was an internal security issue.

He suggested that these closed-door discussions should include operational matters, capabilities, development, degrees of losses and victories, and the general program of government against insurgency."

Solon: Media knew about Palo vigil (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño scored the military on Tuesday for opening fire on a vigil of land reform beneficiaries in Palo, Leyte, which left eight people dead.

The lawmaker said the group had told the media about their plan to gather at Barangay San Agustin for a rice-planting ceremony on a disputed farm on Sunday. He said the farmers were not allowed to till the land despite receiving certificates of land ownership from the Department of Land Reform. 

"They invited media to cover the event. As early as the day before, the media were already announcing the activity,"Casiño told ANC.

Robert de Castro, Bayan Muna national deputy secretary-general, earlier said local radio stations had been covering the protest after the farmers gathered in Barangay San Agustin on Sunday. 

Casiño denied that a firefight had erupted between the soldiers and the farmers who, he said, were not New People's Army (NPA) rebels as claimed by the military. 

"The witnesses are disputing the military's claim that there was a 45-minute exchange. They said that it was basically one way. There was no exchange of gunfire. All the shots were fired from outside the hut [were the farmers were staying]," he said. 

He added that the recovered firearms could have been planted to make it appear that the farmers were armed. He said the military stayed in the area from the time of the alleged encounter at 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday."

Shares close firmer; main index at new 8-month high (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed slightly higher, bringing the main index to a fresh eight-month peak, although last-minute profit-taking trimmed gains, dealers said. 

The main index ended up 4.37 points or 0.20 percent at 2,130.93, after trading between 2,123.18 and 2,144.20. Volume turnover reached 697.09 million shares worth 1.33 billion pesos. 

The broader all-shares gained 2.54 points to 1,287.20. 

Gainers beat losers 46 to 27, while 65 stocks ended flat. 

Dealers said market sentiment remained upbeat given the country's improving fiscal outlook and mostly positive corporate results. Fund managers have also been accumulating stocks that will be included in the composite index from December 1. 

But the market's tepid rise Tuesday signals that stock prices probably need to undergo a correction, analysts said. 

"If you look at the charts, most stocks are at their overbought levels, which signifies that the market is bound to shift to a selling mode," analyst Ron Rodrigo said." 

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.591 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 22, 2005 3:15 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.




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