[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 18 August 2009 Tuesday

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Aug 18 17:40:58 PHT 2009

Newsbriefs 18 August 2009 Tuesday

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo allots P5B more for cash aid to poor (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines-Is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launching a charm offensive of sorts after sailing into a firestorm for the supposedly extravagant dinners she and her party had during her latest US trip?

Ms Arroyo Monday increased from 700,000 to 1 million the number of poor households to benefit from her conditional cash transfer program also known as the "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino" (PPP) program.

The increase would mean an additional P5 billion in the existing P10-billion budget for the program, according to Lorelei Fajardo, deputy presidential spokesperson.

Proof of PGMA's costly travels presented (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
MANILA - An opposition congressman on Tuesday challenged House Speaker Prospero Nograles to form a special committee to investigate the travel expenses of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. 

Bukidnon 2nd District Rep. Teofisto "TG" Guingona, III said that if Nograles rejects his proposal then "it just shows that he himself benefits from this system."

He said the special committee could be under the "Congressional Oversight Committee, appropriations committee...maraming committee ang pwedeng pailaliman ng special investigative committee (there are a lot of committees that could handle the special investigative committee)."

Guingona also presented a report of the Commission on Audit (COA) to prove his allegation last Friday that the Office of the President overspent its travel budget from 2002 to 2008 by P1.3 billion. 

House bills 28 lawmakers P300,000 each for US visit (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

THE House of Representatives will bill the 28 lawmakers who joined President Arroyo in her week-long trip to the United States an estimated P300,000 each or a total of P8.4 million.

"It is a fly-now-pay-later arrangement," House Speaker Prospero Nograles told the members of the contingent over the weekend.

Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez expressed surprise when they learned about the billing. But both said they would pay and that it was merely a question of whether it would be deducted from their monthly salaries or from their P1- million-a-year travel allowance.

231 party-list groups apply for 2010 polls (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
MANILA - They came in droves, and with their gimmicks! 231 party-list groups registered at the Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros Monday, the last day of application to participate in the 2010 party-list system of election.

46 political parties were also able to beat the deadline.

If Comelec Chairman Jose Melo had his way however, he said he would limit the number of registered party-list groups to only 70 or even less.

Melo admitted that the rules on the qualification of party-list groups is open to abuse.

Church hits big coal mine project (Inquirer Southern Luzon, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

VIRAC, CATANDUANES-The Catholic Church and other groups are objecting to a plan by a firm linked to business tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. to extract coal worth P6.2 billion in the province, saying mining would destroy its forest cover and biodiversity, cause flooding, and pollute its waterways.

The groups also claim that the Department of Energy awarded 7,000 hectares of land in the province to Monte Oro Resources Energy Inc. in 2005 for coal exploration without public consultation.

The large swathe of land assigned to Monte Oro in the towns of San Andres, Caramoran and Panganiban is equivalent to the land area of 132 Luneta Parks or three times bigger than Makati City.

FVR rejects ruling party post (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
MANILA - Former President Fidel V. Ramos on Tuesday said he has rejected the offer to be the chairman emeritus of the newly-merged ruling party, Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-Kampi-CMD).

In a press conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport before leaving for Thailand, Ramos said he declined the position because of the new party's failure to act on his "concerns" regarding the merger.

Party stalwarts have said the Lakas-Kampi-CMD machinery will be the key to the victory of the administration in 2010, even if none of its presidential aspirants are doing well in opinion polls.

Ramos said he had sent a letter to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, telling her that the merger of the three parties was made without effective countrywide consultations with Lakas party's national leadership.


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