[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 January 2012 Wednesday

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Wed Jan 4 18:02:09 PHT 2012

Newsbriefs 4 January 2012 Wednesday

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


PNoy gives go-signal to FOI bill (ABS-CBNnews.com )


"MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has given the go signal for a Palace study group to "push ahead" with the passage of a Freedom on Information (FOI) Law


Undersecretary Manolo Quezon of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said the bill will provide for the full disclosure of government transactions and assure every citizen access to public records subject to a few exceptions.


"The President's marching orders to us was to push ahead with the FOI...It makes mandatory the disclosure of a lot of information, specifically the money trail," he told Palace reporters.


"The citizenry and the media have a right to information. Therefore, any grounds for rejecting any request for information is in the nature of an exception but the general rule must be (information is) yours to obtain," he added."


Impeach prosecutors in Corona trial risk reprimand (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Francis Escudero on Wednesday warned the House of Representatives prosecution panel that the impeachment court may reprimand or worse cite them in contempt for publicly discussing the merits of the impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona. 


Escudero cited Article 18 of the Rules of Impeachment that demands the presiding officer, senator-judges, prosecution, parties and witnesses to refrain from speaking in public about the case.


The senator said while there is no clear prohibition on the rules about speaking to the public, he said prudence dictates that the reason for the creation of the trial is for the merits to be deliberated on the impeachment court and not on public arena. 


"Hanggat maaari sana iwasan. May mga pagkakataon na hindi maiiwasan, pero hindi sa isang presscon na ikaw pa ang nagpatawag," he said."


Senate inquiry on Sendong damage sought (www.gmanews.tv)


"Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the factors that contributed to the massive damage caused by tropical storm Sendong last month, which left over 1,200 people dead and some P1 billion worth in damage.
Senate Resolution 671 seeks to direct the Senate committee on environment and natural resources and other appropriate committees to conduct an inquiry - in aid of legislation - on the factors that contributed to the huge number of casualties and damage caused by the storm.
"There is a need to conduct an investigation into the factors that led to the humongous number of deaths and massive destruction brought about by typhoon Sendong, particularly in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and in the Province of Negros Oriental, in order for the entire nation to learn a lesson from this tragedy, and possibly mitigate, if not prevent entirely, the loss of life and destruction of property during calamities, both natural and man-made," said Pimentel, who is from Cagayan de Oro, in the resolution."


'De-traumatization' marks return to school in CDO (www.philstar.com)


"CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines - Classes resumed here yesterday without the usual lessons and activities as students were greeted with songs and games aimed to "de-traumatize" them from their harrowing experience during the devastation of tropical storm "Sendong."


"The psychosocial activities were a means to 'de-traumatize' students who were affected by the flood. Aside from the fun and games, our teachers also made profiling of their class to check if they have any missing students," Rosita Cang of the Department of Education (DepEd) Region 10 told The STAR.


Teachers trained by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) were instructed to conduct psychosocial processing among elementary and high school students at the resumption of classes."


Mindanao, Eastern Visayas warned: More heavy rains (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


"A low pressure area (LPA) off General Santos City threatens to bring heavy rain as early as Wednesday over Mindanao, which is still reeling from the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm "Sendong" that left more than 1,200 people dead and hundreds missing.


But weather forecasters said Tuesday that the LPA had little chance of intensifying into a tropical depression.


The LPA was spotted 550 kilometers east southeast of General Santos City, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 5 p.m. bulletin Tuesday.


Forecaster Fernando Cada said the LPA would blanket Eastern Visayas and Mindanao with cloudy skies coupled with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms."


Anti-corruption action plan approved (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III approved a four-year good governance and anti-corruption plan during a Cabinet cluster meeting Tuesday, which will focus on transparency, accountability and citizen engagement, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.


He said the government will adopt a national payroll system this year that will be piloted in the Budget and Finance Departments and the Audit Commission. 


"Other departments such as Education, Public Works and Highways as well as the Armed Forces and the National Police will also adopt the national payroll system within the year," Abad said."

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