[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 20 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Oct 20 16:13:01 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 20 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Govt issues holiday pay rules for private sector (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Department of Labor and Employment on Thursday issued rules regarding the observance of the special non-working days on October 31, and November 1, as well as the regular holiday on November 4, 2005, pursuant to DOLE Memorandum Circular No. 1 for the country's private sector employers.

The memorandum, signed by DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, was released following the announcement of President Gloria Arroyo declaring Monday, October 31, , as a special non-working day nationwide by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 839.

"The President issued the proclamation in order to give Filipinos more time to observe All Saints Day the following day on November 1," Sto. Tomas said.

Sto. Tomas, at the same time, said that All Saints Day, which falls on Tuesday, November 1, remains a special day pursuant to Executive Order No. 203 of 1987. 

She also said that the President issued Proclamation No. 933 on October 14 declaring Friday, November 4, 2005, as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of the Eid'l Fitr (Feast of Ramadhan) pursuant to Republic Act No. 9177."

DTI expects stable prices after EVAT (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has stepped up efforts to monitor prices of goods as the expanded value-added tax (EVAT) law is implemented on November 1, ABS-CBN News Channel reported Thursday. 

Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said the DTI has designated market watchers to closely monitor the prices of goods and products in at least 38 public markets daily. Markets in Metro Manila and key cities in the provinces are covered by the monitoring.

"What we should really maybe guard against is next year because this is when the additional two percent [could be implemented to increase the VAT], if ever it is implemented," Maglaya told ANC. 

She said that while basic commodities are already covered by the sales tax, the public should still expect a maximum two percent increase in the prices of basic commodities." 

Police on full alert amid escalating anti-Arroyo protests (inq7.net)

"THE 17,000-STRONG police force went on full alert in Manila to deal with street protests against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that have escalated despite a tough new policy restricting rallies, officials said Thursday.

The security alert was raised late Wednesday following almost-daily protests and a planned big rally on Friday at the presidential palace, Malacañang, where police have recently dispersed protesters with water cannons.

A phalanx of riot police stopped about 300 left-wing activists from marching to the presidential palace on Thursday, snarling traffic in a crowded university and commercial district.

Separately, about 1,000 farmers held a protest in Manila's financial district and planned to march to a pro-democracy shrine along the main EDSA Highway, but police vowed to block them."

Arroyo's corruption-tainted husband returns home from self-imposed US exile (philstar.com)

"MANILA  - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's corruption-tainted husband, who voluntarily left the country three months ago to ease the political pressure on his wife, returned to the Philippines on Thursday, his lawyer said. 

Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, an attorney accused of influence-peddling and receiving illegal gambling kickbacks, left for San Francisco on July 6 as his wife's administration was rocked by allegations that she cheated in last year's elections. 

An opposition bid to impeach her in Congress on vote-rigging and corruption charges failed in September, and the crisis has ebbed since." 

Bunye: Palace fighting fire with fire (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Malacañan deems the present barrage of criticisms against President Arroyo as extraordinary and has decided that issues should be dealt with appropriate response for the type of situation, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said.

Bunye, however, said that while Malacañan has frequently held press conferences in defense of the President lately, the palace is not locking horns with Mrs. Arroyo's political detractors.

The President's spokesman said that, as a matter of fact, Mrs. Arroyo wants to have a principled reconciliation with her critics. He said that the same principle and attitude will be followed by her Cabinet and other line agency officials.

Bunye reiterated Thursday that the police response in rallies depends entirely on the nature of the demonstration."

Shares close lower on political, VAT implementation concerns (XFN-Asia)

"Share prices closed lower, returning to their losing streak, as investors cashed-in Wednesday's gains because of political concerns and worries that the government may decide not to implement a crucial tax measure, dealers said. 

The composite index ended down 9.67 points or 0.49 percent at 1,944.62 after trading between 1,942.24 and 1,958.28. Volume turnover totalled 380.24 million shares valued at 951.65 million pesos. 

The broader all-shares index retreated 3.84 points to 1,181.80. 

Losers outnumbered gainers 38 to 32, while 46 stocks ended unchanged. 

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court lifted its three-month-old order freezing the implementation of the new value-added tax (VAT) law.  The finance department said the revenue measure will be implemented from Nov 1, enabling the government to raise an additional 4 billion pesos in revenue during the last two months of the year. 

However, doubts remain about whether President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose popularity has been dropping due to allegations of election-fixing and corruption, will have the political will to implement the revenue measure." 


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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P55.754 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of October 20, 2005 1:17 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.

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