[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 25 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Nov 25 16:36:02 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 25 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo wants end to politicking, cites strong economy, peso (inq7.net)

"WITH an improving economy and a stronger peso, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said there was no more reason for people, especially her detractors, to dwell on politicking.

"The peso continues to display its prowess against the other currencies in the region on the back of hardworking and patriotic Filipinos abroad driving alongside our domestic labor force -- all for enterprising families in a strong economy," the President said in a statement.

This should inspire the people to "break off from the shackles of political turmoil" and work towards pushing the "economic engine" to propel the country to first world status in 20 years, she said.

Rallying to its highest level in six months, the peso closed on Thursday at 54.17 to the US dollar.  Economic analysts attribute the strengthening of the peso to the huge remittances by overseas Filipino workers."

Lagman denies link to fertilizer fund scam (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman denied published and televised reports that linked him to the P728-million fertilizer fund scandal.  "The subject [Commission on Audit] report never mentioned this Representation, his predecessor former Rep. Krisel Lagman-Luistro or the First Congressional District of Albay of involvement in the overpriced fertilizer scam," Lagman said in a statement. 


Earlier reports said Lagman, along with other congressmen, allegedly bought fertilizer using their Priority Development Assistance Fund through the Department of Agriculture's Ginintuang Masaganang Ani program. Lagman denied involvement in the irregularity, which was based on a COA investigation in 2003."

Senate bats for reenacted budget (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Senate President Franklin Drilon on Friday said senators are eyeing the reenactment of the 2005 General Appropriations Act by January as they foresee delays in approving the P1.05 trillion national budget proposal for 2006.

In an interview with reporters, Drilon said the 2006 budget bill is still pending before the Committee on Appropriations at the House of Representatives. Senators do not expect to receive the measure within the next 10 days, Drilon said."

Solons, local execs got cut from agri funds, says witness (inq7.net)

"SOME congressmen, governors and mayors received millions of pesos in commissions from their shares of the Department of Agriculture's P728-million fertilizer fund before the May 2004 elections, according to a witness who appeared before the Senate inquiry into the alleged fund scam.

Jose B. Barredo Jr., an admitted "runner" at the DA made the declaration in an affidavit he submitted Thursday to the Senate committee on agriculture and food.

Barredo, escorted by former senator Ernesto Maceda, showed up toward the end of the hearing.  He would testify at the resumption of the inquiry in January, said Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr., committee chair.

In his affidavit, Barredo said he was asked by a Maritess Aytona in January 2004 to "sell" liquid fertilizer to local government officials using the DA funds.

The fertilizer was supplied by Feshan Philippines Inc., which he said was connected to former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-joc" Bolante.

Barredo said he and Aytona approached congressmen, governors and mayors to inform them there was a DA fund available to them for the purchase of fertilizer, and that they would get a 30-percent commission from the fund."

Doc: Wycoco vital signs 'unstable' (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Director Reynaldo Wycoco of the National Bureau of Investigation remained comatose at the Manila Doctors Hospital on Friday, two days after suffering from stroke.

Wycoco's attending physician, Dr. Dante Morales, said in a bulletin Thursday afternoon that the NBI chief will not undergo a medical procedure. "Five neurosurgeons and neurologists [did] not find [the possibility] of doing a surgical procedure" [on Wycoco].""

House open to arrest warrant lift for Garci (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin on Friday said the House of Representatives will quash the warrant of arrest issued against Virgilio Garcillano if the former poll commissioner is willing to appear before hearings conducted in the chamber.

A petition was filed by Garcillano before the Supreme Court against the arrest warrant issued by the House but according to Locsin, the petition filed by Garcillano through lawyer Eddie Tamondong is "a waste of paper because there's no need to go to the Supreme Court."

"One, it's a co-equal body, and they might tangle up the Supreme Court in question [of] respect between branches of the government," Locsin said."

Once more, Congress seeks tax on texting (philstar.com)

"A Central Luzon congressman has revived the proposed imposition of tax on texting, calling it an "economic activity (that should) share in economic building." 

In House Bill No. 4863, Rep. Mark Cojuangco (5th District, Pangasinan) proposes a P0.50 centavo specific tax on every text message sent. 

"The specific tax (will) be borne by a cellular phone subscriber, or service, as the case may be, on the economic activity of every SMS message (text) the subscriber or service provider makes," Cojuangco said Friday. 

Exempted from the specific tax are text messages sent by service providers such as billing service notification. 

Cojuangco said the specific tax on text is separate and distinct from the income and value-added taxes which a cellular phone company remits to the Bureau of Internal revenue. 

"The purpose is to generate much needed funds which will constitute a Special Infrastructure Fund," Cojuangco said."

Shares close down on profit-taking ahead of 3-day weekend (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed lower as investors locked in recent gains ahead of a three-day weekend, with decliners led by blue chips Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Globe Telecom, dealers said. 

The composite index closed down 13.55 points or 0.64 percent at 2,106.10, on volume of 1.09 billion shares valued at 783.03 million pesos. It moved between 2,098.38 and 2,121.98. 

The all-shares index fell 6.18 points to 1,274.42. 

The market's breadth, however, remained positive as gainers narrowly beat losers 42 to 38, while 43 stocks were unchanged. 

The key composite index advanced 1.26 percent this week, with the market reaching a fresh eight-month peak on Tuesday on the back of improved economic fundamentals. 

He said all the positive news such as the peso's gains against the US dollar, easing oil prices and the government's improving fiscal performance have all been priced in by investors in the short term." 

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.333 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 25, 2005 2:20 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.







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