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DEFENSE BUDGET REDUCED BY P2 B


JULY 21 ---PHOTO PUBLISHED 12 September 2015 -For the modernization program AFP requested for a budget of Php24 billion for 2014 and Php26.8 billion for 2015 (photo : militaryphotos)  THE government has slashed to P25 billion the 2016 budget of P27,752,655.774.55 being proposed by the Department of National Defense, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad confirmed on Monday. He said the appropriation would be used to buy modern equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, one of the weakest in Asia. The P27.7 billion defense budget for 2016 is part of the proposed Revised AFP Modernization Program dated Oct. 29, 2014, with a total amount of P90,858,912,364.56 including P31,106.003,531.90 in 2015 and P18,589,184,038.45 in 2017. The Defense Department said that of the P90.8 billion budget for 2014-2017, it had P13,410,026,020.06 allocation in 2014 but it has yet to itemize the money. READ MORE...

ALSO: Govt proposing P25 B to boost territorial defense


JULY 21 ---P-NOY GETS HIS NEW PASSPORT: Tamper-proof e-Passports ready by January, 2016 Malvar, Batangas – By January next year, Filipino travelers can already avail of the new tamper-proof electronic passport with state-of-the-art safety and design features. And it will no longer be the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that will print…
The Aquino administration is proposing to spend a record P25 billion ($552 million) next year to purchase frigates, surveillance planes, and radars to improve surveillance and detection in the disputed South China Sea, officials said yesterday. The funds to modernize the military are part of President Aquino’s P3 trillion ($66.24 billion) budget bill in 2016, his last year in office. Aquino is no longer eligible to run for a second term. The budget proposal is 15.1 percent more than the current appropriation of P2.606 trillion, according to Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, adding that about 80 percent of the proposed government spending “will be eaten up by the forward estimates or the cost of ongoing programs and projects.”  READ MORE...

ALSO Government still underspending: Budget surplus swells to P67.3 B in May


JULY 21 --Government revenues surged 41 percent to P242.5 billion in May from P172.2 billion in the same period last year, while expenditures rose a slower nine percent to P175.2 billion. File photo The government incurred a wider budget surplus in May after expenditures continued to miss the target, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported yesterday.
The DOF said the government posted a budget surplus of P67.3 billion in May, more than five times the P11.8 billion surplus in the same month last year. A surplus is a product of revenue growth outpacing the rise in government spending. The latest fiscal performance is a reversal of the P35.78-billion deficit targeted for the month and marks the second consecutive month the government posted a budget surplus. READ MORE...

ALSO: CHIZ SAYS DA UNDER-SPENDING A THREAT TO FOOD SECURITY


JULY 21 ---Senator Chiz Escudero, Senate Committee on Finance Chairman PHL SENATE FINANCE WEBSITE The government’s P89 billion farm budget for 2015 must be exempt from underspending, Sen. Chiz Escudero said, as he called for more investments to boost the agriculture sector and increase the household income of farmers. Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance made the call when he met over the weekend with farmer leaders on the sidelines of the T’nalak Festival in South Cotabato, one of the country’s agricultural powerhouses. “Two heads are better than one, or make that two carabaos pulling one plow are better than one, so I can’t imagine why there can be slackening in the implementation of our farm programs, “ Escudero said. He was referring to Proceso Alcala, secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and Francis Pangilinan, presidential assistant for Food Security and Agriculture Modernization, which is a Cabinet rank designation. For 2015, the DA offices under Alcala have a budget of P51.7 billion while the four agencies in Pangilinan’s turf – the National Food Authority (NFA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), National Irrigation Authority (NIA) and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) – have a combined allocation of P37.3 billion. With the country‘s food import now climbing to almost P300 billion a year and with 36 percent of families considering themselves as “food poor,” funding to boost food production must be released without delay, Escudero said. READ MORE...

ALSO AQUINO LEGACY: JOBS CRISIS UNPRECEDENTED IN PH HISTORY


JULY 2015 ---The number of unemployed Filipinos continued to swell since the start of Pres. Aquino’s term, making the worsening job crisis a distinct feature of the administration, according to research group IBON. The group said that the number of unemployed Filipinos has likely risen by at least 100,000, the number of underemployed Filipinos by at least a million, and the number of merely part-time workers by at least 1.5 million. IBON estimates 11.2 million unemployed and underemployed Filipinos as of 2014, consisting of 4.3 million unemployed and 6.9 million underemployed. According to IBON, official unemployment figures do not include discouraged job-seekers and has also excluded the calamity-stricken Eastern Visayas region. Secondly, a huge part of employment is comprised of part-time and low-income jobs in the informal sector. For instance, 90% or some 918,000 of the 1.2 million additional work in 2014 comprised of part-time jobs worked less than 40 hours a week. READ MORE...

ALSO: US stocks fall as Apple, Microsoft tumble


JULY 23 ---This July 15, 2013, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Apple tumbled 4.3 percent and Microsoft fell 3.7 percent as disappointing earnings from the two technology titans weighed Wednesday on the broader market. AP PHOTO/MARK LENNIHAN
NEW YORK–Shares of Apple tumbled 4.3 percent and Microsoft fell 3.7 percent as disappointing earnings from the two technology titans weighed Wednesday on the broader market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.25 points (0.38 percent) to 17,851.04.The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 5.06 (0.24 percent) to 2,114.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 36.35 (0.70 percent) to 5,171.77.
Apple reported that net income for the quarter ending June 27 jumped 38 percent to $10.7 billion. But traders focused on a revenue forecast that fell shy of expectations and commentary from some analysts that the 47.5 million iPhones sold missed expectations. Deutsche Bank said the market’s reaction to Apple’s results showed “it’s getting harder to beat the bulls.” Microsoft reported a loss of $3.19 billion due to a hefty write-down on the smartphone business it acquired from Nokia and restructuring charges of nearly a billion dollars. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Defense budget reduced by P2 B


PHOTO PUBLISHED 12 September 2015 -For the modernization program AFP requested for a budget of Php24 billion for 2014 and Php26.8 billion for 2015 (photo : militaryphotos)

MANILA, JULY 23, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By Florante S. Solmerin | Jul. 21, 2015 - THE government has slashed to P25 billion the 2016 budget of P27,752,655.774.55 being proposed by the Department of National Defense, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad confirmed on Monday.

He said the appropriation would be used to buy modern equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, one of the weakest in Asia.

The P27.7 billion defense budget for 2016 is part of the proposed Revised AFP Modernization Program dated Oct. 29, 2014, with a total amount of P90,858,912,364.56 including P31,106.003,531.90 in 2015 and P18,589,184,038.45 in 2017.

The Defense Department said that of the P90.8 billion budget for 2014-2017, it had P13,410,026,020.06 allocation in 2014 but it has yet to itemize the money.

READ MORE...

The Budget Department must be more transparent in releasing figures because Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, in his letter to President Benigno Aquino III dated March 5, 2015, said it appeared that the P90.8 billion defense budget for 2014-2017 for 33 projects had further been slashed to P60,143,404,181.90 with 28 projects.

Gazmin said Aquino “approved in principle” 28 projects under the with a total budget of P60.1 billion during a meeting that the latter presided over on Feb. 17, 2015. Abad and all the AFP Major Service commanders, Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, among others, were also in the meeting.

In his letter, Gazmin said the proposed P60.1 billion budget was for 2015-2017 that he submitted to Abad on Feb. 23, 2015.

Meanwhile, the P25 billion defense budget for 2016 reportedly will be used to buy two frigates, two twin-engine long-range patrol aircraft and three aerial surveillance radars to boost the military’s capability to defend the West Philippine Sea from China’s aggression in the area.


MANILA BULLETIN

Govt proposing P25 B to boost territorial defense by Reuters July 21, 2015

[Proposed budget to purchase frigates, surveillance planes, radars]


P-NOY GETS HIS NEW PASSPORT: Tamper-proof e-Passports ready by January, 2016

Malvar, Batangas – By January next year, Filipino travelers can already avail of the new tamper-proof electronic passport with state-of-the-art safety and design features. And it will no longer be the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that will print…

The Aquino administration is proposing to spend a record P25 billion ($552 million) next year to purchase frigates, surveillance planes, and radars to improve surveillance and detection in the disputed South China Sea, officials said yesterday.

The funds to modernize the military are part of President Aquino’s P3 trillion ($66.24 billion) budget bill in 2016, his last year in office. Aquino is no longer eligible to run for a second term.

The budget proposal is 15.1 percent more than the current appropriation of P2.606 trillion, according to Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, adding that about 80 percent of the proposed government spending “will be eaten up by the forward estimates or the cost of ongoing programs and projects.”

READ MORE...

“In 2016, our proposal to Congress is 25 billion pesos for the modernization program,” Abad told Reuters, saying this would be the highest-ever spending for military modernization in two decades.

Abad said the government’s proposed budget, including the defense spending plan, would be submitted to Congress next week after the president delivers his last State of the Nation Address on July 27.

A senior military general, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press, told Reuters the funds would be used to acquire two frigates, two twin-engine long range patrol aircraft and three aerial surveillance radars.

The rest of the money would be for annual amortization of 12 FA50 light fighters ordered from South Korea. Two planes are due for delivery this December.

WIDER MUTUAL DEFENSE

Meanwhile, the United States Congress has been urged to declare that the security of shoals and islands controlled by the Philippines in the disputed South China Sea falls within the scope of their Mutual Defense Treaty.

“I think we should change our position on the application of the US-Philippine security treaty to cover features in the South China Sea that are currently occupied by the Philippines and under its jurisdiction,” Walter Lohman, director of the Center for Asia Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee during a recent congressional hearing. “Currently, we’re ambiguous in that regard.”

Lohman was referring to the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) under MDT Article IV and V wherein it was declared that the US will only come to the assistance of the Philippines if its metropolitan territory is attacked or if its Armed Forces are attacked in the Pacific area. (With a report from Roy C. Mabasa)


PHILSTAR

Government still underspending: Budget surplus swells to P67.3 B in May By Kathleen A. Martin (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 21, 2015 - 12:00am 1 15 googleplus0 0


Government revenues surged 41 percent to P242.5 billion in May from P172.2 billion in the same period last year, while expenditures rose a slower nine percent to P175.2 billion. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The government incurred a wider budget surplus in May after expenditures continued to miss the target, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported yesterday.

The DOF said the government posted a budget surplus of P67.3 billion in May, more than five times the P11.8 billion surplus in the same month last year.

A surplus is a product of revenue growth outpacing the rise in government spending.

The latest fiscal performance is a reversal of the P35.78-billion deficit targeted for the month and marks the second consecutive month the government posted a budget surplus.

READ MORE...

Government revenues surged 41 percent to P242.5 billion in May from P172.2 billion in the same period last year, while expenditures rose a slower nine percent to P175.2 billion.

The May budget surplus brought the five-month fiscal performance to a surplus of P86.4 billion, a sharp 915 percent increase from the P8.5 billion surplus recorded in the same period last year.

Government revenues jumped 16 percent to P922.2 billion in the first five months of the year from P795.1 billion in the same period last year. The figure, however, was still below the targeted revenue of P935.07-billion for the period.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue reported revenues of P128.5 billion in May, about the same level as the P128.3 billion it collected last year.

The Bureau of Customs, however, saw its revenues fall seven percent to P26.7 billion from P28.8 billion, while the Bureau of Treasury’s income almost tripled to P11 billion from P4.1 billion.

Other offices contributed P76.4 billion in May, reflecting the P60.1 billion Coco Levy-related remittance to the special account in the general fund.

“Various volatile events in the global landscape serve as stark reminders of the importance of the hard work of reform carefully sustained by prudent fiscal management. We continue to build ample safeguards protecting the country from shocks that pose risks to our upward trajectory,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.


CHIZ ESCUDERO WEBSITE

CHIZ SAYS DA UNDER-SPENDING A THREAT TO FOOD SECURITY 21 Jul 2015 Published in Press Release Read 67 times font size decrease font size increase font size Print Email


Senator Chiz Escudero, Senate Committee on Finance Chairman PHL SENATE FINANCE WEBSITE

The government’s P89 billion farm budget for 2015 must be exempt from underspending, Sen. Chiz Escudero said, as he called for more investments to boost the agriculture sector and increase the household income of farmers.

Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance made the call when he met over the weekend with farmer leaders on the sidelines of the T’nalak Festival in South Cotabato, one of the country’s agricultural powerhouses.

“Two heads are better than one, or make that two carabaos pulling one plow are better than one, so I can’t imagine why there can be slackening in the implementation of our farm programs, “ Escudero said.

He was referring to Proceso Alcala, secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and Francis Pangilinan, presidential assistant for Food Security and Agriculture Modernization, which is a Cabinet rank designation.

For 2015, the DA offices under Alcala have a budget of P51.7 billion while the four agencies in Pangilinan’s turf – the National Food Authority (NFA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), National Irrigation Authority (NIA) and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) – have a combined allocation of P37.3 billion.

With the country‘s food import now climbing to almost P300 billion a year and with 36 percent of families considering themselves as “food poor,” funding to boost food production must be released without delay, Escudero said.

READ MORE...

Among the major programs this year are the following:

· P22.3 billion worth of irrigation projects to cover 54,954 hectares

· P15.2 billion for various farm-to-market roads

· P1.3 billion in assorted fishery infrastructure

· P4.2 billion for farm mechanization

· P7 billion in support activities to boost rice production

· P4.1 billion to increase coconut production

But completing these, plus the important aim of raising farming household income by up to 4 percent this year, is contingent on the quick and timely release of funds, Escudero said.

“Hindi yan matutupad kung may artificial drought of funds,“ Escudero said.

The lawmaker cited the case of cassava farming, which may not be able to achieve its full potential and target of 13 tons of produce per hectare every year, if there is always a delay in the release of some P2.1 billion in available funds for high-value crops.

Escudero described the agriculture budget “as something of a good conditional cash transfer” to the sector which, despite making up 12 percent of the GDP, hosts the most number of poor.

According to official statistics, poverty incidence among fishermen is the highest among nine surveyed sectors at 41.4 percent, followed by farmers at 36.7 percent.

One in three employed Filipinos are in the agriculture, or about 12 million as of latest count.

Escudero said he will soon ask his counterparts in the House of Representatives to convene the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures to look into the spending trends of agriculture agencies.

“Titingnan natin ang absorptive capacity, ang status ng mga projects nila. Mahalaga ang agrikutura kasi ang investment mo doon mabilis ang balik. Magbigay ka ng pondo, may sukli kaagad na pagkain, “ Escudero said.

Escudero announced the mid-year review as the national government spent P78 billion short of its P582.2 billion spending program in the first quarter.

Last year, underspending reached P303 billion, or 13 percent of the total appropriations for 2104.

In 2011, the expenditure program was set at P1.711 trillion, but actual spending was P1.557 billion, or an underspending of P154 billion.

Underspending tapered down in 2012 to P62 billion based on actual disbursements of P1.778 trillion against a budget of P1.84 trillion.

Out of the P1.984 trillion budget in 2013, only P1.88 trillion was utilized, resulting to an underspending of P104 billion. #


IBON FOUNDATION WEBSITE

AQUINO LEGACY: JOBS CRISIS UNPRECEDENTED IN PH HISTORY July 2015

The number of unemployed Filipinos continued to swell since the start of Pres. Aquino’s term, making the worsening job crisis a distinct feature of the administration, according to research group IBON.

The group said that the number of unemployed Filipinos has likely risen by at least 100,000, the number of underemployed Filipinos by at least a million, and the number of merely part-time workers by at least 1.5 million. IBON estimates 11.2 million unemployed and underemployed Filipinos as of 2014, consisting of 4.3 million unemployed and 6.9 million underemployed.

According to IBON, official unemployment figures do not include discouraged job-seekers and has also excluded the calamity-stricken Eastern Visayas region. Secondly, a huge part of employment is comprised of part-time and low-income jobs in the informal sector. For instance, 90% or some 918,000 of the 1.2 million additional work in 2014 comprised of part-time jobs worked less than 40 hours a week.

READ MORE...

When broken down, the reported increase in official employment figures in April 2015 consists of some 544,000 additional informal work and 137,000 full-time jobs lost. This only shows the poor quality of the jobs created, while regular jobs are lost as the country’s production sectors lose their capacity to create meaningful jobs.

The best sources of decent jobs that could contribute to national development are those created from locally strong agriculture and manufacturing industries, according to IBON. But the worsening of the jobs situation is expected with the administration’s gross neglect of the country’s production sectors in favor of elite and foreign interests, the research group said.

IBON presented its midyear 2015 economic and political assessment today at the University of the Philippines. (end)

IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.

Visit www.ibon.org  | Follow IBON on Twitter | Follow IBON on Facebook

__._,_.___ Posted by: ibon foundation <media@ibon.org>


INQUIRER

US stocks fall as Apple, Microsoft tumble @inquirerdotnet Agence France-Presse 06:31 AM July 23rd, 2015


This July 15, 2013, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Apple tumbled 4.3 percent and Microsoft fell 3.7 percent as disappointing earnings from the two technology titans weighed Wednesday on the broader market. AP PHOTO/MARK LENNIHAN

NEW YORK–Shares of Apple tumbled 4.3 percent and Microsoft fell 3.7 percent as disappointing earnings from the two technology titans weighed Wednesday on the broader market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.25 points (0.38 percent) to 17,851.04.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 5.06 (0.24 percent) to 2,114.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 36.35 (0.70 percent) to 5,171.77.

Apple reported that net income for the quarter ending June 27 jumped 38 percent to $10.7 billion. But traders focused on a revenue forecast that fell shy of expectations and commentary from some analysts that the 47.5 million iPhones sold missed expectations.

Deutsche Bank said the market’s reaction to Apple’s results showed “it’s getting harder to beat the bulls.”

Microsoft reported a loss of $3.19 billion due to a hefty write-down on the smartphone business it acquired from Nokia and restructuring charges of nearly a billion dollars.

READ MORE...

Dow member Caterpillar fell 3.2 percent after the company reported lower equipment sales in most of its businesses in the second quarter. The industrial giant will issue its full earnings report Thursday.

Baker Hughes dropped 3.9 percent on a Bloomberg News report that its $34.6 billion sale to Halliburton could be blocked on antitrust grounds. Halliburton fell 0.8 percent.

Other oil services companies also fell as US crude prices closed under $50 a barrel for the first time since April 2. Weatherford International lost 3.9 percent, Nabors Industries shed 2.5 percent and Cameron International fell 5.0 percent.
Banking stocks rose, including Dow member JPMorgan Chase (+1.4 percent) and Bank of America and Citigroup (both +2.1 percent).

Yahoo fell 1.2 percent after reporting a $22 million loss in the second quarter as chief executive Marissa Mayer warned earnings could be pressured in the coming quarter due to heavy investment in new products.

Aerospace giant Boeing rose 1 percent after second-quarter earnings translated into $1.62 per share, 25 cents above analyst expectations.

Other companies to report earnings included Chipotle Mexican Grill (+7.8 percent), Dow member Coca-Cola (-0.7 percent), GoPro (-0.6 percent), Illumina (-8.4 percent) and Whirlpool (+7.3 percent).

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.33 percent from 2.34 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year fell to 3.04 percent from 3.08 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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