[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 20 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Sep 20 17:19:37 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 20 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



No need to build new broadband network - IT expert (www.gmanews.tv)

There is no need for the government to enter into the $329.4-million deal with China's ZTE Corp. to build the national broadband network (NBN), an information technology expert said Thursday.

Augusto "Gus" Lagman, adviser of the Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines (ITFP), said in a GMANews.TV webcast that there is no reason to construct another NBN when there are already existing ones.

"If you have an existing capacity, you don't have to do (the project). The existing networks can suffice," Lagman said in Filipino.

DOTC chief says NBN deal not yet final (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza on Thursday said the $329 national broadband network (NBN) contract between the Philippine government and China's ZTE Corp. is not yet final and still has a long way to go before being implemented.


Mendoza made the statement minutes before the Senate inquiry into the NBN deal. The inquiry was supposed to start at 2:30 p.m.


He said there are three conditions included in the NBN deal before it can be implemented by the government. He said only one of the conditions have been accomplished.


Mendoza said the unaccomplished conditions are the forward obligation of the Department of Budget Management and the loan agreement between China Ex-Im Bank and the Department of Finance.


Complaint filed in House vs De Venecia over NBN fiasco (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- A complaint against Speaker Jose de Venecia has been filed at the ethics committee of the House of Representatives for allegedly hosting a mediation meeting in his house over a disputed telecommunications contract, the complainant himself disclosed.

Lawyer Roel Pulido said in a phone interview that he based his complaint on a sworn statement of the Speaker's son, Jose "Joey" De Venecia III, who blew the whistle on the alleged anomalous national broadband network contract between the government and the ZTE. Corp. of China.

But when INQUIRER.net checked with the committee, its secretary, Amador Lanoza, refused to either confirm or deny the existence of the document, which he considered "sensitive material."

Gov't 'wrongfully' used Japan study for trade deal--activist (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Government negotiators for the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement "wrongly and criminally" used a Japanese macroeconomic study to defend the treaty, an anti-JPEPA activist told the Senate Thursday.

Lawyer Golda Benjamin of the Junk JPEPA Coalition said the paper, so-called Kawasaki document prepared by Japan's Research Institute on Economy, Trade, and Industry, was "made by the Japanese for the Japanese."

She asked why the government negotiators were using Japanese estimates when they did not represent Philippine interests.

Santiago sees 'dead' JPEPA if gov't won't explain benefits (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Round 2 went to oppositors of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) Thursday as government negotiators failed anew to answer basic questions from senators on the benefits of the treaty to the country.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chairman of the committee on foreign relations, has threatened to sit on the JPEPA and not sponsor it on the floor, which would effectively make for a diplomatic rejection of the treaty.

During the hearing, Santiago told government negotiators, headed by Trade Undersecretaries Thomas Aquino and Elmer Hernandez: "If I find it impossible to defend it on the Senate on the basis of your statement, then as chair, I will be compelled to defer submission of my committee reports. In other words, JPEPA will be dead."


Govt bans Chinese products from schools (Agence France Presse)


The Philippines has banned four Chinese food products from school canteens following reports they contained cancer-causing formaldehyde, the Department of Education said Thursday. 


The ban was outlined in a memorandum distributed to all public schools in the Philippines, the department said, and comes after health authorities issued a public warning. 


Among those banned were the popular White Rabbit and Milk Candy brand, Bairong Grape Biscuits and the Yong Kang Foods Grape Biscuit, the government said. 

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