[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 14 August 2007 Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Aug 14 16:25:38 PHT 2007
Newsbriefs 14 August 2007 Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
Arroyo opens National Security Council meeting (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
President Arroyo opened the meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on Tuesday to discuss ongoing military operations in Sulu and Basilan, the process of achieving a long-term solution to the hostilities in the southern Philippines and how to stamp out the terror threat.
Together with senators, members of the House of Representatives and representatives from defense and law-enforcement agencies of the executive branch, the NSC is set to discuss the government's objectives of bringing peace and justice to a large part of the restive southern islands of the country and especially the military offensives against the Abu Sayyaf terror group.
DZMM reported that in her opening statement, Mrs. Arroyo said the priority agenda of the NSC is the protection of civilians in the military operations, strict adherence to the ceasefire agreement between the government and armed separatist groups - the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and to extend consultations with other sectors on attaining peace in the area to hasten the implementation of projects and programs for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The President said there is a need for all leaders and agencies to work together and to refrain from politicking. The objective, she said, is to seek to achieve peace.
Dry spell still felt in Bicol, Cagayan Valley (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Tuesday said the prolonged dry spell is still felt in two regions in Luzon despite two tropical storms that passed the country in the last two weeks.
DOST Undersecretary Graciano Yumul said Cagayan Valley and Bicol still experience the prolonged dry spell because rains brought on by tropical storms Chedeng (international codename Pabuk) and Dodong (Wutip) did not reach the two regions.
Yumul said the two storms were supposed to pass through the two regions, but were blocked in the western side of Cordillera.
Cordillera, which is a massive mountain range situated in the northern central part of Luzon, serves as a protection for some Luzon provinces against strong typhoons.
Yumul said cloud seeding operations in Bicol and Cagayan Valley have resumed. She said more funds are needed to save crops that can be damaged by the prolonged dry spell in the two regions.
Meanwhile, Yumul said water reserves at Magat and San Roque dams in Ilocos and the Pantabangan Dam in Central Luzon are still at critical levels.
She said the dry spell is over in Ilocos, Central Luzon, Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog because of the two storms.
Envoy, mayors back Japan deal (www.manilastandardtoday.com)
PHILIPPINE Ambassador to Japan Domingo Siazon urged senators to ratify the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, saying the treaty will fast-track progress and that the country would "miss the boat" and lag behind other countries if the agreement is rejected.
"We should not miss the boat," Siazon said, adding that Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have already concluded similar agreements with Japan while Vietnam is negotiating its own treaty.
Siazon, who served as foreign affairs secretary during administrations of former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada, said the agreement is also crucial to our relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose members, like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, host big Japanese industrial production bases.
He said the agreements other Asean nations have signed with Japan are similar to the Japan-Philippines pact and are meant to boost their trade and improve their competitiveness.
"Actually, it's almost the same. So do you want to be out of that? Then you'll have to compete as a single country [with] China [or with] India. How can you compete? You have to be with a group," he said.
P12 wage hike takes effect Aug. 28 (www.philstar.com)
Minimum wage earners in Metro Manila will finally get the much-awaited P12 increase in their daily take home pay starting Aug. 28, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) announced yesterday.
NWPC officer-in-charge Esther Guirao said with the effectivity of Wage Order No. 13, the daily minimum wage rate will be pegged at P362 for non-agricultural workers and P325 for agriculture, retail and manufacturing workers.
"Under the latest wage order, workers in the non-agricultural sector in NCR are entitled to a minimum of P362 basic pay while the applicable minimum wage for agriculture workers, private hospitals with bed capacity of 100 or less, retail and service establishments with less than 15 workers and small manufacturing industries with less than 10 workers in the region is P325," Guirao pointed out.
More Pinoys optimistic about their lives improving (www.philstar.com)
More Filipinos are optimistic that the quality of their life would improve in the next 12 months, results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed yesterday.
The public, meanwhile, are "neutral" on whether the economy would get better over the year, according to the nationwide second quarter poll of SWS taken from June 27 to 30, using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents.
"The SWS indicators of economic trends - as distinct from economic states - show an improvement in optimism about the coming 12 months. At the same time, it continues to record downward movement from 12 months ago to the present," the SWS said.
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