NOVEMBER 15, 2006 (STAR) By Marianne Go - A visiting business delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US-Philippines Business Council expressed satisfaction and continued confidence in the Philippines yesterday following a meeting with President Arroyo.

"Our mission is a show of commitment by US businesses in the Philippines. The economy is clearly improving and were here to reaffirm our support and explore policies to enhance the competitiveness of the Philippines," Council president Matthew Daley said.

The US companies represented by the delegation included the American International Group, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, InterGen/Quezon Power, Mirant, Oracle Philippines Corp., Qualcom, Time Warner and Unisys.

Daley said the businessmen met with Mrs. Arroyo and her economic team to get an update on recent developments on the economic and political fronts as well as trade ideas on how the Philippines can be more competitive.

The US business delegation, Daley said, was generally happy with the economic growth, the lowering of the budget deficit, the strengthening of the peso, the improvement in revenue collection and the increase in foreign direct investments.

The improvements, Daley noted, have qualified the Philippines for the Millennium Challenge Account, which would provide funds for fighting corruption.

Singaporean military officer lauds tight RP security The Philippine Star 11/15/2006

A visiting Singaporean military officer praised the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday for implementing tighter security measures compared to neighboring countries in the region.

"We are learning many things here in the Philippines. Among these are the measures being implemented by the military against the communist insurgency, as well as in combating terrorism," said Lt. Col. Liow Boon Chuan Thomas of the Singaporean Armed Forces.

Thomas, who is among other foreign military officers taking up a course at the AFPs General Staff College, said the security measures put up by the AFP have been effective in containing terrorism.

Thomas noted the security measures being implemented in the Philippines are comparatively more comprehensive than those in other countries.

Thomas was selected by the Singapore Armed Forces to undergo an eight-month long course, which is being taken by Filipino military officers, with ranks ranging from senior major to lieutenant colonel.

These officers, according to Army spokesman Ernesto Torres, would later on be assigned as battalion commanders in the field.

A total of 72 officers are at present taking up the General Staff Course here.

The other foreign military officers enrolled in the program are Majors Ayob Mohammed Feizol Anuar, Wan Rohizan and Ismail Mohd Yussof of Malaysia, and Lt. Commander Kim Ji Hoon of the Korean Navy. James Mananghaya

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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