[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 2 August 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Aug 2 12:46:55 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 2 August 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Dry spell prompts Palace to bat for crisis powers (abs-cbnNEWS.com) 


Malacañang is ready to push the "panic button" to ask Congress to grant special powers to President Arroyo should the extended dry spell worsen and result to an energy crisis.


"[Special powers are needed to authorize] for example, the acquisition of materials, resources, equipment without bidding," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.


He said that the government has directed its agencies to implement measures to mitigate the effects of the drought as well as other actions to conserve the use of water and power.


"As the situation warrants, I'm very sure that there's nothing that would prevent us from asking Congress for emergency powers," Ermita said. He added that the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) is closely monitoring the situation.


"At the moment, the NDCC is quite optimistic that we do not need (emergency powers) yet but in time, when there is such a need, a move will have to be initiated by the executive branch to ask for such powers from Congress," he said.


Palace proposes 60% increase in anti-poverty budget (www.philstar.com) 

As part of the commitment of the administration to address the problems of hunger and poverty, Malacañang has proposed a 60 percent increase in the budget for pro-poor programs and projects for fiscal year 2008.

In a presentation by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) at the National Anti-Poverty Commission en banc meeting at Malacañang yesterday, it was revealed that the proposed allocation for the pro-poor programs and projects of various government agencies and offices for 2008 would amount to P166.77 billion.

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. said the proposed amount represents an increase of 59.5 percent from the P104.53 billion allocated in this year's budget.

Based on the data presented, the Department of Public Works and Highways would get the biggest share of the total at P54.6 billion or a 292.1 percent increase from the P13.9 billion allocated for the  DPWH's pro-poor programs and projects this year.

The bulk of the department's budget for this purpose is dedicated to structures that will address critical flood problems and flood control drainage that would cost roughly P8.03 billion.

Forum to check spread of weapons of mass destruction (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- Asia's top security forum has decided to create a new group to help prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, officials said Wednesday.

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum approved the formation of the body after it was proposed by a group of countries including the United States and Indonesia, said M.C. Abad, an ARF official.

ARF, which consists of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and 17 other countries, is holding its annual meeting on Thursday. However, lower-level officials began discussing the terms of reference, or details, of the nonproliferation body Wednesday, Abad said.

"Although we agreed to set up such a mechanism on disarmament and proliferation, we now have to work through the usual requirement of the terms of reference for that mechanism," said ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong

Arroyo to host regular 'socials' with senators (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will hold regular get-togethers in Malacañang with administration senators in a bid to consolidate her grip on the Senate despite the sound drubbing her slate got in the May elections.

Sen. Edgardo Angara told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the administration senators had accepted Ms Arroyo's invitation for a "social gathering" Wednesday night which he expected would be made on a regular basis.

"It's purely social, we're just moving to keep in touch with each other," said Angara. "It's possible that some issues could be raised, but this is normal for her to ask our legislative agenda."

Aug. 3 special holiday to allow students to register for SK, b'gay polls (www.philstar.com) 

Malacañang has declared Friday, Aug. 3, as a special holiday for all high school and college students all over the country to allow them to register for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on Oct. 9.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita made the announcement yesterday in response to the last few days of registration for new voters as approved by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The Comelec, in Resolution No. 8256, has approved an additional period for the national registration of new voters from July 28 to 29 and Aug. 4 to 5. 

Covered in the special registration are individuals aged 15 to 17.

President Arroyo said the barangay and SK elections are part of the political process where the youth can fulfill their role as partners in nation-building.

"The State must give every opportunity for the youth to be responsible citizens by participating in barangay and SK elections," Mrs. Arroyo said.

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