[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 October 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Oct 4 11:33:53 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 4 October 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Palace wants village polls reset (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- Giving in to clamor of her allies in the House, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has certified as "urgent" a bill postponing the Oct.29 barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK, youth council) elections to August next year.

The Senate, however, ended its session Wednesday night without acting on the recommendation.

"The Senate maintains its position that it is best to proceed with the election," said Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan.

Motion questioning ZTE deal not yet moot - Supreme Court (www.gmanews.tv)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will wait for a proper pleading to be filed in court before it can declare a petition disputing the contract for national broadband network (NBN) project moot and academic.

Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez made the statement after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo scrapped the broadband project.

"The Court will have to wait for an appropriate pleading or manifestation to be filed before it could react. The resolution will depend on the manifestation," said Marquez.


Broadband project still on, says Palace (www.philstar.com) 

The government is determined to set up a national broadband network despite its scrapping of a $329-million NBN deal with ZTE Corp. of China amid allegations of bribery and corruption that led to the resignation of elections chief Benjamin Abalos.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said yesterday that while President Arroyo has cancelled the contract with ZTE Corp., she remains committed to link all government offices and agencies through a broadband network. 

He stressed, however, that there is still no official initiative to set in motion a new NBN project.

Hike in unprogrammed Palace funds questioned (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- A member of the self-styled reform bloc in the majority coalition in the House of Representatives on Wednesday sounded the alarm over the increase in the unprogrammed funds of the Executive Branch, particularly the Office of the President, in the proposed 2008 national budget.

Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, the chair of the House committee on human rights, said the unprogrammed funds have increased from P61 billion this year to P114.5 billion in 2008.

A check with Tañada's office showed the correct figures, however. The Office of the President's unprogrammed funds have almost tripled from just P22.5 billion in 2007 to P61 billion next year.

"[The] glaring point is that unprogrammed funds has gone up in disproportionate proportion to the people's level of trust in the government," Tañada said.

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