[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 19 September Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Sep 19 12:38:25 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 19 September Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



House panel to restore 'pork' to P21 B (www.philstar.com)
If the proposed 2007 budget provides P40 million per congressman and P120 million per senator in pork barrel funds, the House will increase such allocations and restore them to their previous levels. 

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, told reporters yesterday that his panel would restore pork barrel funds for next year to P70 million for congressmen and P200 million for senators. 

He was commenting on the clarification made by Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. that under President Arroyo's proposed P1.136-trillion budget for next year, House members would each have P40 million only, and not P70 million as Salceda claimed last Friday. 

Malacañang cut the lawmakers' allocations to P40 million for House members and P120 million for senators two years ago due to the financial difficulties the nation was then facing. 

However, since then, Congress had either enacted new tax laws or increased existing tax rates, including the expanded value added tax, resulting in additional revenue collections. 

Restoration of the pork barrel funds would mean that there would be a total of P21.3 billion (P16.5 billion for the House and P4.8 billion for the Senate) for members of Congress to share.


PCGG has no immunity, says ex-chairman Salonga (Inquirer)

THE FOUNDING chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government said that it was not the intent of Executive Order No. 1 to exempt the PCGG head and its commissioners from a valid congressional inquiry.

Former Senate president Jovito Salonga, the first PCGG chairman, said it was he and then Commissioner Pedro Yap who drafted EO 1 that created the commission tasked with overseeing the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies following the People Power revolution in 1986.

"The PCGG does not enjoy immunity from a valid congressional investigation. Otherwise, it would be lifting itself by its own bootstraps and arrogating unto itself a power it does not have," Salonga said in a message faxed to the Inquirer. "That was not the intent of EO 1."

Senate won't take Bolante offer (abs-cbnNEWS.com )


The Senate committee investigating the multimillion-peso fertilizer fund scam will not enter into any deal with ex-agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, Sen. Ramon Magsaysay said Monday. 


Magsaysay, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, confirmed receiving indirect feelers from Bolante's lawyers that the ex-agriculture official is willing to testify before the Senate in exchange for the reinstatement of his US visa. 


He said he wants Bolante extradited to Manila to face the Senate probe after snubbing invitations for the past six months.


CBCP remains nonpartisan, Lagdameo says (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

CATHOLIC prelates have stood firm on their ground not to support any politicians in next year's elections. 

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said his group would not support any political candidates, but would likely urge their parishioners to support some. 

"Certainly, we will not support anyone. We are supposed to be a nonpartisan body. However, we will encourage people to support candidates," he said. 

He said not even a single politician has approached him to seek an endorsement. 

"None yet. It is still too early. That would be too much if politicians would come to us at this point in time," he said. 

He urged the people to vote wisely and choose the best candidates, saying CBCP has come up with criteria of good leaders. 

Cebu braces for Asean summit (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

SECURITY preparations for the upcoming 12th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to be held in Cebu are going full blast even as National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales assured participants that adequate measures will be taken to ensure the safety of 17 heads of state who will join the meeting. 

Saying that "we're always one step ahead," Gonzales said the alert level of local security forces will be raised as the summit draws near to ensure the safety of the heads of state, including US President George W. Bush, in Cebu. 

"This is not a joke," he said. "Security preparations for the Asia Europe Meeting began more than a year before the dialog last week. And here we are with only a few months off preparation." 

The summit, with the theme "One Caring and Sharing Community," will be a gathering of more than 10,000 foreign and local delegates as well as more than 1,000 journalists who are expected to cover the international event. 

Central Visayas regional police director Chief Supt. Geary Barias said about 800 police from nearby provinces have already arrived in Cebu as early reinforcement to the regional police force. The bulk of police back-up from various regions is expected to arrive in Cebu by next month. 

Boracay won't lose tourist appeal - DENR report (www.philstar.com)
Boracay Island in Aklan will not lose its appeal to tourists even if it is classified as "alienable and disposable" forest reserve and agricultural lands, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said. 

In a 10-page comment submitted to the Supreme Court, DENR's regional technical director of the Land Management Services said Malacañang's reclassification of Boracay and the areas around it "is well within the ambit" of its authority. 

Presidential Proclamation 1064 classified Boracay Island into agricultural lands and forest reserve, and provided for a 15-meter buffer zone on each side of the centerline of road and tracts for right-of-way purposes. 

"The exercise of the above-cited authority rest upon the reasonable discretion of the President guided by the view of how Boracay Island is to be classified and what is good for the majority of the inhabitants in Boracay Island and not upon the expression of the will of the predominant power in the community," said DENR in its comment, a copy of which was obtained by The STAR.
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