[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 10 February 2009 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Feb 10 16:08:35 PHT 2009

Newsbriefs 10 February 2009

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Comelec to act on low turnout areas (INQUIRER.net )

MANILA, Philippines -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Education and Information Department (EID) will be using its latest voters' registration statistics to identify areas where there is low turnout, identify the causes and propose solutions to the problem, its spokesman said.

"The EID is consolidating registration data from provinces nationwide to gauge the participation of Filipinos during the registration period and identify areas of low turnout that the Comelec needs to attend to," James Jimenez said.

Options to save pre-need industry (INQUIRER.net )

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE) Pre-need companies that do not re-capitalize or are no longer willing to raise their capital have been told to stop selling their policies and to arrange an "orderly settlement" with their plan holders, an official of a group of pre-need companies said Tuesday.

The proposal is one of two options presented by Juan Miguel Vazquez, president of the Philippine Federation of Pre-need Plan Companies Inc., to address the impending collapse of the industry in the country.

Vazquez spoke before the Senate during its resumption of its investigation into the controversy surrounding the closure of several banks by the Legacy Group of Companies owned by Celso delos Angeles.

      RP faces foreign aid cut due to corruption (www.philstar.com)

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is facing a big cut in foreign aid because corruption in government is "deeply entrenched" and the World Bank report is "worrying" a big donor country, a diplomat disclosed yesterday.

The diplomat from the major donor country, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said their government is closely following the WB report and the investigation into the anomalous road projects funded by the foreign financial institution and the extent of government corruption that has identified First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo as the alleged patron of colluding contractors in a $33-million road project in 2003.

Diplomatic sources have told The STAR that corruption is also of concern to the Millennium Challenge Corp., a US government-backed foreign aid arm, and that the Philippines is unlikely to get promoted from "threshold" to "compact" aid status, which would have secured more funding for the country's development efforts.

"It's worrying us because it's so serious. The World Bank report showed that corruption here is deeply entrenched," the diplomat said.

      'ZTE probe findings out this month' (www.philstar.com)


MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman will release before the end of the month the results of its investigation into the canceled $329-million national broadband network (NBN) contract between the government and Chinese firm ZTE Corp.

Assistant Ombudsman Jose de Jesus Jr. said the panel tasked to conduct the probe would issue a resolution soon.

"We're looking at end of February at the earliest, or March 2009 at the latest," he told The STAR.

Mike Arroyo denies alleged involvement in WB road mess (www.gmanews.tv)

(Updated 12:36 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines - Finally breaking his silence on the World Bank road projects mess, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo on Tuesday denied his alleged links in bribery and collusion in the Bank's road projects in the country - findings that also resulted in the blacklisting of three Filipino firms. 

In an exclusive interview with GMA News, Mr. Arroyo belied the testimonies of witnesses cited in a World Bank report that he had to be bribed before contractors will be awarded road projects in the Philippines. 

"Of course not. It's not true," Mr. Arroyo said in a chance interview with GMA News' Joseph Morong at St. Luke's Medical Center (SLMC) in Quezon City where the First Gentleman undergoes a regular check-up.
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