MANILA — Malacañang was elated over the passage of the 2012 national budget by the House of Representatives Friday night, saying this will mean better services to the people, more especially the poor.
“We’re happy that the budget was passed on second reading,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during an interview over government-run dzRB Radio.
MANILA -- Malacañang said Saturday that it is ready to counter the effects of a transport strike on Monday, citing contingency measures that will, among others, help ferry inconvenienced passengers to their respective destinations.
“We are ready for the strike. We just want to remind them that the franchises issued to the operators are merely privilege and they have an obligation to fulfill,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told state-run dzRB radio.
PLUNDER suspect retired Major General Carlos Garcia is welcome to question his arrest before the courts as Malacañang expressed confidence that its case will hold water.
“The President merely affirmed the decision of the court martial (six years ago). We are confident that it will stand scrutiny,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told state-run dzRB radio on Saturday.
ALTHOUGH the government should address joblessness, two economists on Saturday said the Aquino administration should also look into the case of 7.1 million underemployed Filipinos in July.
The underemployment rate, or the proportion of those employed but are still seeking more work, went up to 19.1 percent from 17.9 percent in July last year, data from the National Statistics Office show.
WITH at least 3,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) leaving the country everyday, legislators are proposing the establishment of additional social welfare attachés in foreign posts.
Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list Representatives Sherwin Tugna and Cinchona Gonzales, authors of the proposed Social Welfare Attaché Act of 2011, said SWAs will serve as haven for OFWs particularly those who are victims of human trafficking.
FILIPINO Christians on Saturday asked President Benigno Aquino III to oppose a United Nations resolution that would divide Israel and unilaterally declare a Palestinian State within the borders of the Middle Eastern nation.
Led by evangelist and losing presidential candidate Brother Eddie Villanueva, the group said the government should junk the resolution that goes against previous agreements which guaranteed Israel the right to attain "secure and recognized boundaries."
MANILA -- A Federal Express (FedEx) cargo plane flying from Singapore to Taiwan was diverted to Manila on late Saturday afternoon and made an emergency landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after one of its engine conked out during its flight.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Airport Ground Operations & Safety Division officer in charge Joseph Agustin said pilots of FedEx’s McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft have requested clearance at 5:35 p.m. from the Manila Control Tower.
MANILA -- Dismissed general Carlos Garcia may still face a plunder case as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales asked the Sandiganbayan on Friday to void a plea bargain agreement that it approved in May.
Garcia was detained earlier Friday at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City after having been convicted by a military court for conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline. He will serve a two-year prison term.
MANILA -- After a two-week marathon debate, the House of Representatives passed on second reading late Friday evening the proposed P1.816-trillion budget for 2012.
The 2012 General Appropriations Bill or House Bill 5023 sponsored by Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya was approved around 11:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the target of the House leadership to approve the measure.
TWO things are certain about September 16, 1991--the day the Senate voted to close down US bases on Philippine soil: it rained heavily and the vote, for good or ill, changed the country's destiny.
Political activist Renato Constantino Jr., who was at Liwasang Bonifacio on that day, said the government brought a crowd of "more than 100,000" to pressure the Senate to ratify the extension of the RP-US Bases Treaty.
NEARLY one-third of the House of Representatives have supported moves to exclude tolls on expressways from value-added tax (VAT) since the move is "to impose tax on tax."
"Toll fees on our expressways are already a user's tax. To impose VAT on toll fees is to impose tax on tax. This is against the Constitution and public interest," La Union Representative Victor Ortega, principal author of House Bill 5185, said.
UNLESS stopped by the Court of Appeals, national carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) maintained that it will proceed to lay-off 2,600 workers by October 1.
On Thursday, the PAL Employees Association (Palea) countered that the layoff scheme is facing a giant wall, citing the large number of workers who still refuse to acknowledge the termination notices and accept the severance package.
NEWLY-APPOINTED Customs commissioner Rozzano Rufino "Ruffy" Biazon pledged to get rid of corruption and smuggling by starting with performance review of officials and employees.
THE Department of Education's (DepEd) proposal to increase the P700 yearly "chalk allowance" of teachers to P1,000 is "not enough", ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said.
Tinio, who authored a bill providing for a teaching supplies allowance for public school teachers, made these remarks after the Department of Education (DepEd) submitted a proposal to realign more funds for teachers' chalk allowances.
VICE President Jejomar Binay promised Friday to focus on his job despite announcing plans of seeking the presidency in 2016.
"Let's do our job first," Binay said at a lunch to commemorate the termination of the Philippine-US military bases agreement in 1991.
A HIGH pressure area, which brings good weather along its path, will force Tropical Storm "Roke" (local name: Onyok) to make a one-day visit to the Philippines this weekend, state weather forecasters said Friday.
“It might re-enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday. But it won’t stay so long because it is heading towards Taiwan before going to Southern Japan,” Science and Technology Undersecretary Graciano Yumul told Sun.Star.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has appointed Estela Perlas-Bernabe as the newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda announced Bernabe's appointment during his regular press briefing in Malacanang Friday.
MANILA (Updated 3:12 p.m.) -- Former military comptroller Carlos Garcia was transferred to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City from Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City following his arrest Friday.
Garcia was arrested at 8:30 a.m. in his residence in Quezon City for misdeclaration of Statement of Assets and Liabilities for the year 2002 and 2003.
MANILA (Updated 10:17 a.m.) -- Former military comptroller Carlos Garcia is now detained at the Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City after he was re-arrested Friday morning.
Garcia was arrested at 8:30 a.m. for misdeclaration of Statement of Assets and Liabilities for the year 2002 and 2003.
MANILA -- Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. Thursday filed plunder and graft charges against House Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, his wife and two sons for using more than P80 million in government funds to finance personal projects.
Charged with Fuentebella before the Office of the Ombudsman were his wife Evelyn, mayor of the town of Sagnay in Camarines Sur; and sons Arnulf Bryan, mayor of Tigaon town, and Felix William, commissioner of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.
A TICKER-TAPE parade in Makati City is being planned for Miss Universe 3rd Runner-Up Shamcey Supsup upon her arrival, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. said on Thursday.
Supsup, an adopted daughter of the Philippines' premier financial district, will also pay a visit to her alma mater, Makati high school (MHS).
MALACANANG confirmed Thursday that Angelito Alvarez formally bid goodbye as chief of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the confirmation a day after the Palace announced the appointment of former Muntinlupa representative Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon as the new head of the bureau.
SENATOR Sergio Osmeña III urged Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon, who will take his oath of office Friday morning, to root out corruption in his bureau by pushing to make the Philippine tariff simpler.
"The more complicated it is, the more your agents can run circles around you. Our tariff book has, I don’t know, maybe 100,000 items. You change the color of your eyeglasses (that you import), that’s another 30 percent in tariff. That's where the deals and bribes happen," he told reporters Thursday.
MALACANANG takes no issue with Vice President Jejomar Binay's early announcement that he intends to run for president in the next elections.
"I guess he (Binay) is just being honest," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters in his regular press briefing in Malacanang.
SEEKING to protect interests and welfare of employees in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, Representatives Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo (Camarines Sur) and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Pampanga) proposed a Magna Carta for call center workers.
The Arroyos filed House Bill 5218 to pave the way for the organization of unions in the $9.5-billion BPO industry to protect the rights of about 400,000 workers nationwide.
ANOTHER senator questioned the executive branch's control over the country's coffers Thursday, this time over a memorandum barring government agencies from asking Congress for more money.
Senator Edgardo Angara, speaking at a press forum at the Senate, said a Department of Budget and Management memorandum issued in August removed congressional power over the budget.
FORMER party-list Representative Mujiv Hataman finds it suspicious that families of victims in the November 2007 Batasan Pambansa bombing seek to review two resolutions dismissing his involvement in the incident.
Hataman is one of the seven short-listed nominees as officer-in-charge for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) in case the postponement of elections will push through.
KABATAAN party-list Representative Raymond Palatino criticized the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) for failing to present a clear set of guidelines on how it will spend a proposed P291-million budget for “subsidies and donations” to conflict-afflicted areas.
Palatino said the program is inattentive to the roots of poverty and social unrest, much like the controversial conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer proceed with the recount of ballots in Manila's disputed clustered precincts after dismissing the poll protest filed by defeated mayoral candidate Joselito Atienza.
Atienza, who protested the poll victory of Mayor Alfredo Lim, "has failed to establish the merit or legitimacy of his election protest from his pinpointed pilot clustered precincts," the Comelec's first division said in a statement.
INSTEAD of building an elevated highway on top of the Philippines' busiest thoroughfare, the Public Works department should consider a Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (Smart) similar to Malaysia's on the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa).
This was the proposal of House Deputy Majority Leader and Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo, saying a tunnel under Edsa would not only ease traffic but would also help surrounding communities deal with potential flooding.