[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 February 2009 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Feb 2 07:41:28 PHT 2009

Newsbriefs 4 February 2009 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


House measure on Charter change opposed  (INQUIRER.net)
MANILA, Philippines -- Three senators have rejected a resolution passed by a panel in the House of Representatives proposing amendments to economic provisions in the Constitution, with one calling it a "bogus" and "anomalous" measure.

"The economic provisions' only resolution on con-ass (Constituent Assembly) is a bogus resolution," Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said in a statement.

>From all indications, Pangilinan said, the Arroyo government appeared to be hell bent on covering all bases and making all options for 2010 available, including the option of extending their terms and staying beyond 2010.

"The 'econ provisions only' con-ass is an anomalous resolution. It is constitutionally flawed," he said.

      Senators want heads to roll at SEC (www.philstar.com)

Senators want heads to roll at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to protect plan holders from anomalous business practices of pre-need companies, particularly Legacy Consolidated Plans Inc. owned by Sto. Domingo, Albay Mayor Celso de los Angeles.

"It is sad for me to say this but I think it's about time the President (Arroyo) and the government start firing some people in order to wake them up to do their job," Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told reporters.

It was revealed that De los Angeles had offered to buy back policies from plan holders and dangled a "double-your-money" scheme, which the senators said was pyramiding or an illegal quasi-banking operation not registered with the SEC or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

At Malacañang, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said "economic managers are going through their plans and proposals that would be pushed by the Cabinet to strengthen the industry." He also defended SEC head Fe Barin in the wake of calls for her to resign.

Witnesses tag Arroyo hubby in bribery for road projects (www.gmanews.tv)
MANILA, Philippines - Witnesses interviewed by the World Bank (WB) in its investigation into the alleged rigged bids for its road projects in the country pointed to First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo as involved in bribery of infrastructure projects funded by the Bank, an opposition senator said on Wednesday.

In a telephone interview with GMANews.TV, Sen. Panfilo Lacson cited a portion of the WB report where witnesses told Bank investigators that the husband of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and a former senator had to be bribed for them to enter into businesses in the country. 

"There are at least eight witnesses na na-interview (ng World Bank), at least eight witnesses ang nagtestify, sinasabi yung rigging ng bid at tsaka yung bribery sa ibang officials. One former senator, he was named, tapos si FG. Sabi nila, di ka makakapasok sa negosyo kung di ka maglalagay sa mga tao na 'yun," Lacson said.

Hoarders blamed for LPG shortage (INQUIRER.net)
 MANILA, Philippines -- Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes blamed hoarders and illegal refillers for the shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in many parts of Metro Manila.

At a hearing of the House committee on energy Wednesday, Reyes vowed tough government action against LPG hoarders.

"We want to bring order to this industry [but] the illegal hoarders and refillers are the ones destroying the industry," Reyes told the House panel. "Hirap na hirap na ang tao ninanakawan pa na dilat ang mata [The people are already suffering so much yet they are robbed right before their very eyes].


Reyes said the LPG industry would stabilize if government is able to get rid of the hoarders and illegal refillers but lamented that those caught by a task force created to go after hoarders are not prosecuted and convicted.

Cabinet rejects college extension to five years (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

PRESIDENT Arroyo has rejected a proposal from the Commission on Higher Education to add one more year to all college courses, including nursing, but ordered the agency to continue holding consultations on what courses should last five years. 

Mrs. Arroyo only approved five years as mandatory for engineering, architecture and accounting, Presidential assistant on education Mona Valisno said during a recent Cabinet meeting. 

"The [commission] was proposing if other courses could be made into 15 years [including 10 years of elementary and high school education], but the President and the Cabinet only approved these three courses," said Valisno, who is also a member of the presidential task force on education. 

      Businessmen want fewer holidays (www.philstar.com)

Too many holidays can be counterproductive.

Local businessmen urged the government yesterday to stop declaring so many holidays and amend the law that requires companies to pay double for holiday work.

"The number of holidays must be lessened. Also the law that requires employers to give double pay during holidays must be altered. We must remove the premiums," Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Edgardo Lacson said.

According to Lacson, this is the time to look at ways to cut costs for industries given the slowdown in consumer demand as a result of the global recession.

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