SENATOR Ralph Recto on Friday defended billions in pesos spent to subsidize fares on Manila's light rail transit (LRT) and metro rail transit (MRT) lines, saying most of that money comes from Metro Manila anyway.
The government shoulders P40 of the actual cost of riding the trains while the estimated 500,000 passengers on the MRT every day only pay from P12 to P15.
NATIONAL carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced Friday that it has secured a $50-million loan (roughly P2.1 billion) from Credit Suisse to compensate workers who will be laid-off as a result of the outsourcing program.
The loan will cover full separation and transition benefits of 2,400 of the estimated 2,600 workers who will be laid off in October, the target month for the spinoff.
CONTRARY to pronouncements of militant youth groups, the government said it has increased the budget of state universities and colleges (SUCs) by P2.4 billion for 2012 as compared to this year.
The Aquino government allotted more money for SUCs by 10.1 percent to P26.1 billion in 2012, from the current P23.7 billion, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
FILIPINO workers in United States military facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq can continue working beyond December 31 this year after the US Military's Central Command received the Philippines' official endorsement.
All contractors in the two military facilities, American or otherwise, have been informed of the Philippines' decision, an official communication sent by the US Military's Central Command said.
POOR families in Siquijor, Tawi-tawi, Oriental Mindoro, and Surigao del Norte who benefit from a government cash program are also set to receive free generic medicines from the Department of Health (DOH) within the month.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona announced this during a speech he delivered at the second Generics Summit in Eastwood City on Wednesday.
FAMILIES participating in a foster program for children who are abandoned, exploited, or have physical disabilities will be given tax incentives once the proposed legislation already ratified by the House of Representatives is signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III.
Members of the House of Representatives have unanimously voted to adopt the Senate version of House Bill 4481 after congressmen found no substantial conflicts between the two proposals.
A MEMBER of the House opposition bloc and a non-government organization are proposing to increase funds allotted for the Department of Agriculture (DA) to make the country self-sufficient in supplying grains to its people.
Opposition lawmaker Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay said that supporting the needs of the agricultural sector would be a "sound investment" since the country has "very capable farmers and agriculture experts that will help the steer the industry into new heights."
MANILA (Updated 6:02 p.m.) -- A 20-foot (6.1-meter) saltwater crocodile that may be the world's largest in captivity has not eaten for six days since its capture in a southern Philippine creek drew worldwide attention.
Wildlife official Ronnie Sumiller, who led the hunt for the croc nicknamed "Lolong", said Friday that the reptile is under close observation for signs of stress.
MANILA (Updated 12:03 p.m.) -- President Benigno Aquino III on Friday challenged newly assumed Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Nicanor Bartolome to further strengthen the morale of the police personnel and to bring back the trust of the people to the PNP leadership.
During the turnover ceremony at Camp Crame in Quezon City, the President said he expects Bartolome to surpass the foundation built by his predecessor Director General Raul Bacalzo.
MANILA -- The camp of Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo downplayed the filing of fresh plunder case against her and her husband, saying progressive groups are merely playing politics at their expense.
Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chairperson Carol Araullo and Makabayan vice president Liza Maza on Thursday filed a fresh plunder case against the former President and her husband Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos, and former Transportation secretary Leandro Mendoza.
MANILA -- People who use Metro Manila's three railway systems for their daily commute said the increase was unnecessary, especially since it was announced at a time when prices of commodities are high.
Commuters interviewed by Sun.Star said it would be best for the government to keep the rates low to avoid squeezing the incomes of ordinary employees and students.
AT LEAST three new witnesses will implicate "big names" involved in massive election fraud in the 2004 and 2007 polls, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Thursday.
Although she refused to name the new witnesses owing to security reasons, de Lima said that she herself examined the witnesses and found their testimonies credible and "potentially explosive".
THREE service providers of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) that are expected to absorb workers the airline company will lay off have overlooked labor rules, the company's union said on Thursday.
Quoting a document from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), legal counsels of the PAL Employees Association (Palea) said Sky Kitchen Philippines Inc., Sky Logistics Philippines Inc., and SPi Global Holdings Inc. are not registered as a contractor or sub-contractor.
THERE is hope for the Philippine tuna industry if the country can up conservation efforts and curb illegal fishing, the director of the Fisheries bureau said Thursday.
Director Asis Perez of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources told Sun.Star that complying with conservation guidelines such returning juvenile tuna to the sea will, in the long term, make for a bigger fish catch.
THROTTLING the Philippine oil industry's profits could backfire and result in higher pump prices if petroleum companies choose to leave the country in response, the chairman of the Senate committee on energy said Thursday.
AN OIL firm with a terminal in Misamis Oriental was charged with smuggling.
Filed at the Department of Justice, the case claimed that Jetti Petroleum Inc. -- the sixth petroleum company to face such charges from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) -- owed P4.1 billion to the government after it supposedly imported oil products without paying the appropriate taxes to the government.
THE Agriculture department will have to show senators that its plan to give 200,000 hectares of arable land access to irrigation can hold water.
The Senate finance committee noted at a hearing for the department's 2012 budget on Thursday that close to half -- or P27.1 billion of a total P61.7 billion -- of its funding will be earmarked for irrigation development. The amount is more than double the P13.498 set aside for irrigation projects this year.
MALACANANG refused to comment on the secret file made public by whistleblower website Wikileaks saying the United States (US) had a hand in helping create a Moro homeland in Mindanao.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said since the US government declined to give any official statement regarding any of the leaked cable, the government will opt to stay away from the issue as well.
MALACANANG expressed elation Thursday over the improved ranking of the Philippines in the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report.
The Philippines is now ranked 75th in the World Economic Forum, 10 notches above its previous 85th spot.
A METRO Manila agency is revisiting a plan to arm its traffic enforcers a day after a motorist shot and wounded one of its officers.
Tina Velasco, spokesperson of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), announced this on Thursday, citing an order by Chairman Francis Tolentino.
THE Philippines secured a loan worth $13.293 million (P558 million) from the South Korean government to finance the purchase and installation of navigation systems at an international airport in Misamis Oriental.
Set to be implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Laguindingan Airport Air Navigation System and Support Facilities Supply Project falls under Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).
THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has deported a Japanese national who allegedly victimized Filipinos after promising them high-paying jobs abroad.
Sixty-six-year-old Kesajiro Yamauchi boarded a Korean Airlines flight to Kagoshima, Japan last September 1, the bureau said.
AS A pre-celebration activity of the Girl Scout Week from September 18 to 24, the Girl Scouts of the Philippines will launch the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) campaign "Stop the Violence. Speak Out for Girls' Rights" at 8 a.m. of September 10 at the Manila Ocean Park.
In line with the launching is the ceremonial signing at the "From a Whisper to a Shout" campaign wall, which will be opened to all GSP girls/leaders participants to the event. This is to encourage girls in the country to take action and raise voice to speak out and fight violence against women.
MANILA (Updated) -- Deputy Director General Nicanor Bartolome was named as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Palace announced on Tuesday.
Bartolome, a former police provincial director of Tarlac, Aquino's province, will replace PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo, said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte on Thursday.
MANILA (Updated 12:56 p.m.) -- The three service providers hired by the Philippine Airlines (PAL) should not be allowed to operate as they are not registered as a contractor or subcontractor, said Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (Palea) legal counsel Marlon Manuel on Thursday.
He said they received a letter last September 7 confirming that the three providers are not registered.
MANILA (Updated 12:18 p.m.) -- A key Filipino terrorist suspect wanted by the United States for deadly bomb attacks may have joined a new rebel faction that split from the Philippines' largest Muslim insurgent group, officials and rebels said Thursday.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) spokesman Von Al Haq said his group has received information that Abdul Basit Usman has been seen in the southern Philippines with the forces of Ameril Umbra Kato, the breakaway guerrilla who vowed to carry on the battle for a separate Muslim homeland.
MANILA (Updated 11:08 a.m.) -- Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is facing another plunder case, this time in connection with the botched deal with China’s Zhong Xing Telecommunications (ZTE) Corp.
Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño, Liza Maza of Gabriela, and Carol Pagaduan-Araullo of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan filed the case before the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday.
PLANS for establishing peace in Mindanao as proposed by the government and the Philippines' largest Muslim guerilla group may not be too far apart from one another.
President Benigno Aquino III pointed this out on Wednesday, adding that both parties should continue discussions regarding their disagreements about the draft comprehensive peace agreements.
INCREASED funds allotted for a program that gives cash to poor families should be realigned to the departments of Trade and Industry, Agriculture, and Labor and Employment, progressive lawmakers said on Wednesday.
The funds, once realigned, will help create more jobs, support livelihood programs, address shortages of books and chairs, and upgrade health programs in public schools, said the lawmakers, all members of the Makabayan coalition in the House of Representatives.
ONLY two security personnel were assigned to the Batasan Pambansa premises on the night election returns (ERs) were exchanged in 2005 to favor then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
This was the testimony of Antonio Collera, chair of the Internal Security Group of the House of Representatives, who appeared before members of the House panel looking into the alleged break-in involving members of the Special Action Force (SAF).