CBCP GIVES NOY A FAILING GRADE

Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is still not impressed with President Aquino’s handling of the economy and his admi-nistration’s fight against corruption after almost four years in power, giving him a “failing mark” in his responsibility to uplift the lives of Filipinos. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, CBCP-episcopal commission on public affairs chairman, rated the President three out of 10 even as he noted that the Palace-claimed positive growth figures have yet to reach the poor. He said war on poverty was one of Aquino’s campaign promises but he has yet to prove it after serving more than half of his presidential term. “So if there is any improvement in the economy then where is the money? They say our economy is increasing but it did not reach the people,” he told a radio interview. While it is true the government had crafted many laws, it still lacks concrete actions.
Pabillo explained that while the growth domestic product of the country is reportedly increasing still there are no changes in the lives of the poor people, specially in the creation of jobs and eradicating poverty. “Compared to previous administrations, nothing has changed... 11.5 million Filipino families consider themselves poor,” Pabillio noted. Meanwhile, former Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay yesterday branded Aquino a “hypocrite” for claiming to be supportive of the long-delayed Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill but virtually doing nothing to persuade his allies in Congress to enact the controversial measure. READ MORE...

(ALSO) Noy’s boast: Aquinos lead RP turnaround

President Aquino can’t resist tooting his own horn during the high-profile World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) by contrasting the two Aquino administrations, the other one being that of his mother, former President Cory Aquino, and the supposedly crooked adminis-trations which preceded both Aquinos. During the formal opening of the WEF-EA yesterday Aquino lashed out at former President Ferdinand Marcos, saying that “at times, despite the worst efforts of our leaders,” the Filipinos have achieved national redemption and progress through “the collective efforts of the people,” likely referring the People Power revolt of 1986 that swept Cory Aquino to power. Aquino also boasted that his administration “went after every individual who committed wrong-doing. Look at the results: my predecessor is now under hospital arrest as she undergoes two se-rious charges, with another being evaluated by the Ombudsman,” he claimed. “some of you may remember: Decades ago, our country was suffering from the cancer of tyranny and oppression that characterized martial rule. Before that period, the Philippines was always being compared to Japan whether in terms of our economy, or even in sports,” Aquino said.
Aquino said during the martial law years, “our fate became dependent on the will and the whims of a dictator who put himself ahead of all other considerations”. Then Aquino narrated how his mother took over the presidency after Marcos was ousted. “Ultimately, it was the Filipino people who came together to unshackle our country from the chains of totalitarianism. We came together in a peaceful revolt, in what would be known by history as the People Power Revolution, and eventually, we overthrew the dictator,” Aquino said. READ MORE...

ALSO: People hailed for PH gains by Noy

Aquino says govt inclusive growth goal now doable. EAST Asian leaders called Thursday for stronger efforts to achieve inclusive growth and social mobility for the poor, as well as closer ties among neighboring states amid territorial tensions that could disrupt the regional economy. At the opening of the World Economic Forum-East Asia summit, President Benigno Aquino III highlighted the collective role of ordinary Filipinos in making inclusive growth an irreversible trend in the Philippines. “The pursuit of large-scale reforms in every aspect of governance is the achievement of the Filipino people. They made the goal of achieving inclusive growth doable, and it is also they who will make it irreversible,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy says, PHL in the midst of a ‘dramatic turnaround’

The Philippines is in the midst of a "dramatic turnaround," President Benigno Aquino III declared before world leaders on Thursday, trumpeting his administration's economic achievements. "It is evident: Our country is in the midst of a dramatic turnaround in every sector and we are intent on continuing this trend and making certain that each and every Filipino enjoys the full dividends of progress," Aquino said in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Makati City. "All signs for the future are pointing upwards," the President noted. Citing the population projections of the United Nations, the President said the Philippines will be hitting a demographic sweet spot in 2015 that may last for the next 35 years. Countries in such conditions, he said, post an average yearly growth of 7.3 percent over the next ten years. "We are incredibly poised to take full advantage of the situation, having made strategic investments in education and skills training, which will equip our future workforce with the correct skills to fill the jobs that are and will be created," he said. mong those investments, he said, was in equipping the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority with the resources necessary to help people acquire the skills they need to be "truly competitive" in the job market. Data from the Department of Budget and Management indicate only 28.5 percent of TESDA graduates were able to find work in 2006 to 2008. But according to a 2012 TESDA study, 62.4 percent of their graduates have been able to find employment. 'Next Asian miracle' -- READ MORE...

ALSO: President Aquino running out of time -Bobit Avila column

The top nine big business organizations in this country have sought for a clearer and well-defined energy program to assuage security of power supply and stability in electric rates from President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III. They are the top business organizations from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (PCCI), the Philippine Export Confederations (Philexport), the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, the American Chamber of the Philippines (AMCHAM), the European Chamber of the Philippines and others who signed a position paper in the hope that it would address the power problems of this country. Pardon me fellas if I’m going to rain on your parade. But until now you still don’t get it! Before the elections of 2010, the Cebu Business Club hosted the Presidentiables at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City, which was packed to the brim with businessmen and all the Presidentiables were present for a short speech and a very frank Q & A so we could find out what stuff our Presidentiables were made of. When it came to Presidential hopeful Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III he had nothing much to say, but tell the Cebu businessmen “My administration will be one of consultation.” Others like Manny Villar or Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. were very positive as they talked about giving Cebu more infrastructures so Cebu could grow faster. It was then that we realized that Sen. Aquino who was a non-performing Congressman and equally dull as a Senator had no vision to lead the Philippines to greater heights.  READ MORE...

ALSO: Visayas power grid on red alert, Luzon on yellow alert, as power plants still offline

MAY 20 -Brownouts remain a threat in Luzon and Visayas as their power grids were on yellow and red alert respectively as of Tuesday morning. The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said Luzon's reserve power as of 6 a.m. amounted to 426 megawatts while Visayas' reserve power was zero megawatts. Figures from the NGCP's 6 a.m. update showed the Luzon Grid has a system capacity of 8,950 MW and a system peak demand of 8,524 MW and reserves of 426 MW. In the Visayas grid, the NGCP noted a system capacity of 1,477 MW and a projected peak demand of 1,522 MW. The Mindanao grid has a system capacity of 1,078 MW and projected peak demand of 1,176 MW. NGCP raises the “yellow alert” when the total reserve is less than the capacity of the largest plant online. For the Luzon grid, this is 647 MW. On the other hand, a red alert is raised when the contingency reserve is zero or a generation deficiency exists. Earlier, the NGCP said a plant in Quezon province broke down and is not expected to return online until Thursday. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla on Monday said three power plants in the Visayas went offline, including one each in Cebu, Iloilo and Leyte. The Department of Energy expects them to be back online within this week.


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

CBCP gives Noy failing grade


Bishop Broderick Pabillo

MANILA, MAY 26, 2014 (TRIBUNE) A ranking official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is still not impressed with President Aquino’s handling of the economy and his admi-nistration’s fight against corruption after almost four years in power, giving him a “failing mark” in his responsibility to uplift the lives of Filipinos.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, CBCP-episcopal commission on public affairs chairman, rated the President three out of 10 even as he noted that the Palace-claimed positive growth figures have yet to reach the poor.

He said war on poverty was one of Aquino’s campaign promises but he has yet to prove it after serving more than half of his presidential term.

“So if there is any improvement in the economy then where is the money? They say our economy is increasing but it did not reach the people,” he told a radio interview.

While it is true the government had crafted many laws, it still lacks concrete actions.

Pabillo explained that while the growth domestic product of the country is reportedly increasing still there are no changes in the lives of the poor people, specially in the creation of jobs and eradicating poverty.

“Compared to previous administrations, nothing has changed... 11.5 million Filipino families consider themselves poor,” Pabillio noted.

Meanwhile, former Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay yesterday branded Aquino a “hypocrite” for claiming to be supportive of the long-delayed Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill but virtually doing nothing to persuade his allies in Congress to enact the controversial measure.

At a news forum, Magsaysay reacted sharply to reports that Malacañang will give the go signal for the approval of a strong FoI law but only during the last few months that Aquino is in power.

Coming out almost a year after losing the 2013 senatorial race, the former lawmaker assailed the snail-paced progress of the FoI bill in the House of Representatives, saying proponents of the original FoI were expecting a fast legislative process because the measure has been pending for nearly a decade now.

“We nearly passed it during the 14th Congress. It should have taken the easy road in the current Congress,” Magsaysay stressed.

Asked to react to reports that Aquino’s allies will fast-track approval of the measure in the last leg of the 16th Congress and the last year of the President’s six-year term, she turned emotional.

“PNoy’s a hypocrite. That’s all I can say, he’s a hypocrite,” Magsaysay averred as she recalled that approval of the FoI was among the Aquino’s campaign pledges during the 2010 presidential elections.

“Why pass it when your term is over? What is he afraid of as President of this country?” she asked.

The former opposition lawmaker dared Aquino to show he will not renege on his campaign promise by asking his allies to pass an unadulterated version of the FOI measure.

“If the President is transparent, why is he afraid to pass the FoI,” said Magsaysay, who was among the authors of the measure during the 14th and 15th Congress.

Earlier, administration lawmakers led by Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao disclosed that they are contemplating on filing an amendment to the already pending FoI bill.

Aggabao told reporters that a right of reply provision should be included in the FoI as he lamented the failure of many lawmakers to have their sides published in news reports adverse to them.

Aggabao said many of them are going through this experience since personalities involved in the so-called P10-billion pork barrel scam came out with lists of lawmakers who received huge kickbacks from the anomalous transactions.

Buhay partylist Rep. Lito Atienza rejected Aggabao’s proposal, saying the current committee on public information proceedings for the FoI bill should not be delayed further.

“If we add another issue to the FoI bill, its approval might drag on until the next Congress.

We cannot afford that, we have to pass the FoI bill into law,” said Atienza, a member of the independent minority bloc. By Pat C. Santos and Charlie V. Manalo

FROM THE DAILY TRIBUNE

Noy’s boast: Aquinos lead RP turnaround Written by Paul Atienza Friday, 23 May 2014 08:00

President Aquino can’t resist tooting his own horn during the high-profile World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) by contrasting the two Aquino administrations, the other one being that of his mother, former President Cory Aquino, and the supposedly crooked administrations which preceded both Aquinos.

During the formal opening of the WEF-EA yesterday Aquino lashed out at former President Ferdinand Marcos, saying that “at times, despite the worst efforts of our leaders,” the Filipinos have achieved national redemption and progress through “the collective efforts of the people,” likely referring the People Power revolt of 1986 that swept Cory Aquino to power.

Aquino also boasted that his administration “went after every individual who committed wrong-doing. Look at the results: my predecessor is now under hospital arrest as she undergoes two se-rious charges, with another being evaluated by the Ombudsman,” he claimed. “some of you may remember: Decades ago, our country was suffering from the cancer of tyranny and oppression that characterized martial rule. Before that period, the Philippines was always being compared to Japan whether in terms of our economy, or even in sports,” Aquino said.

Aquino said during the martial law years, “our fate became dependent on the will and the whims of a dictator who put himself ahead of all other considerations”.

Then Aquino narrated how his mother took over the presidency after Marcos was ousted.

“Ultimately, it was the Filipino people who came together to unshackle our country from the chains of totalitarianism. We came together in a peaceful revolt, in what would be known by history as the People Power Revolution, and eventually, we overthrew the dictator,” Aquino said.

Aquino said “it was the Filipino people who then raised my mother to the seat of power, and gave her the confidence and the political capital to finally plant the seeds of recovery and return of democracy to the Philippines after decades of corruption and neglect”.

Then Aquino fastracked to 2010 when he said “it was once again the collective efforts of our people that helped me get elected me into office, after they took a stand, and firmly decided to turn their back on almost a decade of corruption and impunity, a decade of lost opportunities”.

“My countrymen flocked to the voting stations to vote for the simple but profound idea that was the backbone of our campaign, and that is where there is no corruption, there will be no poverty,” Aquino said.

Aquino said that his administration “always points out that the pursuit of large-scale reforms in every aspect of governance is the achievement of the Filipino people”.

Aquino said that for the past four years, they have “enacted reform after reform”.

A Switzerland-based yearly competitiveness ranking the other day, however, showed that the Philippines had slipped four notches from last year due to the failure of the Aquino administration to follow through with its infrastructure program and lack of progress in anti-corruption efforts.

“We overhauled systems that were prone to abuse. We reformed the way we do our budget, consulting as many stakeholders as possible, crafting the budget from the grassroots up, and implementing what we call the zero-based budgeting, which makes sure that all government spending will have corresponding and tangible benefits for our people,” Aquino said.

Aquino boasted they had “pursued all those who committed wrongdoing—regardless of their power, wealth, or influence”.

“Dismantling the culture of corruption was a promise we made to the people. If we truly wanted to improve the lives of our people, we could not possibly shirk away from this challenge,” Aquino said.

“The Congress and the Senate removed a Chief Justice from office for failing to declare over 98 percent of his assets in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth contrary to our Constitution and our laws,” he said.

Aquino did not mention of course that he had bribed legislators with hundreds of millions to impeach and convict the chief justice because he had ruled that the Aquino-Cojuanco hacienda have to be parceled out to the farmers.

Aquino said the reforms, along with countless others, expanded the resources available to government.
Aquino also boasted the increase in the conditional cash transfer dole-out scheme which originated under the term of Arroyo.
“In the span of four years, we have more than quadrupled its budget. The program that we inherited covered just 800,000 families, or roughly around four percent of the population; now, we are assisting around 4.3 million families, or about 22 percent of the population and this constitutes the poorest of the poor. Through this initiative, we are incentivizing keeping children in school, because that is the primary condition of the conditional cash transfer,” Aquino said, this despite the surveys saying that there are more poor in the country today, despite his expensive doleouts.

Aquino then cited the education program of his administration as well as in health and in social welfare services.

Aquino said that additional proof of the country’s economic progress is the improved perception of the international community.

“In the past year, for instance, all three major credit ratings agencies were unanimous: The Philippines is investment grade finally. Moreover, just two weeks ago, Standard & Poor’s gave us yet another upgrade—from BBB- to BBB,” Aquino said.

Aquino said that the World Economic Forum itself “has drastically improved its outlook on the Philippines”.

Aquino said that from 2010 to 2013, “we have moved up 26 places in your competitiveness rankings—from 85th to 59th”.

“Not to mention, from 2010 to 2014, we have made great strides in the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation’s Ease of Doing Business Report and in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, improving by 36 spots and 20 spots in each one, respectively,” Aquino said.

Aquino said that “inclusive growth is not just a mantra for us; it is the yardstick by which we measure any government undertaking”.

Think tank Ibon, however, said the claims that the Philippines is leading the region’s economic growth is pure hype because of the shallow and unsustainable growth.

Ibon said that amid the slow recovery in many developed countries, foreign corporations are looking at potential markets where they could direct their excess capital in speculative areas and take advantage of opportunities to profit.

“International credit agencies, foreign transnational firms and local big business groups support the Aquino administration and its neoliberal economic direction, and this explains the positive assessments, credit rating upgrades, and favorable tags to the country,” Ibon said.

Ibon asserted that labels such as “Asia’s next miracle” and “Asia’s rising star” are all empty advertisements meant to make the Philippines popular to investors.

“The recent growth in the Philippine economy is artificial, narrow, debt-driven and unsustainable. It is accompanied by worsening job generation, growing unemployment and exclusionary growth mainly in the narrow real estate and construction sectors,” Ibon said.

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

People hailed for PH gains By Joyce Pangco Panares | May. 23, 2014 at 12:01am

Aquino says govt inclusive growth goal now doable


Pushing inclusive growth. President Benigno Aquino III delivers the keynote speech at the opening of the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia. Malacañang Photo Bureau

EAST Asian leaders called Thursday for stronger efforts to achieve inclusive growth and social mobility for the poor, as well as closer ties among neighboring states amid territorial tensions that could disrupt the regional economy.

At the opening of the World Economic Forum-East Asia summit, President Benigno Aquino III highlighted the collective role of ordinary Filipinos in making inclusive growth an irreversible trend in the Philippines.

“The pursuit of large-scale reforms in every aspect of governance is the achievement of the Filipino people. They made the goal of achieving inclusive growth doable, and it is also they who will make it irreversible,” he said.

The President said the government will not stop at helping the poorest of the poor through interventions such as the conditional cash transfer program, and said even those considered “near poor” must also be protected.

“We have expanded the scope of our efforts and are now likewise targeting those who are deemed ‘near poor’ -- or those who are one catastrophic illness or one natural disaster away from going below the poverty threshold. Our goal: To push them further and further away from the poverty line, and to empower them to improve their own lots in life,” he said.

“Our people are the be all and end all of this government, and we are not content with waiting for the benefits of growth to just trickle down the social pyramid,” the President added.

Aquino said governments must strive to create opportunities for ordinary people, citing his administration’s aggressive promotion of tourism, which he said “achieves inclusivity almost instantly.”

“The results are clear: From 2001 to 2009, the term of my predecessor, the average annual growth of international tourists arrivals was at 5.1 percent; under our watch, from 2010 to 2013, this number grew to 11.6 percent,” he said.

“Considering that, on average, every international tourist spends almost a thousand dollars in the Philippines, the impact of our tourism efforts on our local economies has been nothing less than profound,” the President added.

Aquino said the Filipino people’s support to his anti-corruption and governance reforms policies have also contributed to the country’s strong economic performance.

“For the past four years, through the unwavering support of our people, we have enacted reform after reform. We overhauled systems that were prone to abuse,” he said.

Aquino also played up the efforts of his administration to hold accountable those who have misused public funds, and pointed to the prosecution of his predecessor, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, and the ouster of former chief justice Renato Corona.

“My predecessor is now undergoing hospital arrest as she undergoes two serious charges, with another being evaluated by the Ombudsman.

The Congress and the Senate removed a chief justice from office for failing to declare over 98 percent of his assets in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth contrary to our Constitution and our laws,” he said.

“We pursued all those who committed wrongdoing—regardless of their power, wealth, or influence. As you may have guessed, tangling with these very wealthy individuals and sectors with vested interests was not an easy task. But those in our administration were not shaken: Dismantling the culture of corruption was a promise we made to the people.”

“If we truly wanted to improve the lives of our people, we could not possibly shirk away from this challenge. We had to take on all those who had a misplaced sense of entitlement—who believed that they had more rights than their fellow Filipinos. So, we went after every individual who committed wrongdoing,” the President added.

About 600 participants from 30 countries and more than 460 business leaders are attending the WEF-East Asia summit, which has the theme “Leveraging Growth for Equitable Progress.”

The country’s gross domestic product grew by 7.2 percent last year, and 6.8 percent in 2012, but former Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno said it was still “too early” to declare the Philippines as Asia’s next economic miracle.

“Two years of strong economic growth do not make a miracle. It has to be sustained growth of say 7 percent for 10 years. We cannot be sure that economic growth can be sustainable and inclusive,” Diokno said in an earlier interview.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stressed the need to promote socio-economic mobility through entrepreneurship.

“Economic growth and equitable progress are not necessarily the same thing...There will always be those who are wealthier than others. But the problem is when mobility is only for the few,” he said.

“We live in an extraordinary era. We’re in the midst of a revolution. (But) despite Asia’s epic progress, this revolution remains incomplete...A key challenge in addressing inequality is that those in the bottom and middle should enjoy the same benefits as those in the top,” Yudhoyono added.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung warned that China’s aggressive actions over overlapping territorial claims in the region could disrupt growth in East Asia.

“Vietnam strives for stability. But risk is rising as regional disputes evolve with complexity...Economic development will not thrive without peace and stability,” Nguyen said.

“Chinese actions are threatening peace and stability in the region, and freedom of navigation... Disruption will impact on the world economy and may even reverse the trend of global growth,” the Vietnamese leader added.

Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun said “positive relationships” among East Asian nations can lead to increased economic growth in the region.

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

PNoy: PHL in the midst of a ‘dramatic turnaround’ By KIMBERLY JANE TAN, GMA NewsMay 22, 2014 4:53pm 8 8 0 111


Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrives at the NAIA on Thursday, May 22, for a state visit and a meeting with President Benigno Aquino III. He will also attend the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia being held in Makati City. Danny Pata

The Philippines is in the midst of a "dramatic turnaround," President Benigno Aquino III declared before world leaders on Thursday, trumpeting his administration's economic achievements.

"It is evident: Our country is in the midst of a dramatic turnaround in every sector and we are intent on continuing this trend and making certain that each and every Filipino enjoys the full dividends of progress," Aquino said in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Makati City.

"All signs for the future are pointing upwards," the President noted.

Citing the population projections of the United Nations, the President said the Philippines will be hitting a demographic sweet spot in 2015 that may last for the next 35 years.

Countries in such conditions, he said, post an average yearly growth of 7.3 percent over the next ten years.

"We are incredibly poised to take full advantage of the situation, having made strategic investments in education and skills training, which will equip our future workforce with the correct skills to fill the jobs that are and will be created," he said.

Among those investments, he said, was in equipping the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority with the resources necessary to help people acquire the skills they need to be "truly competitive" in the job market.

Data from the Department of Budget and Management indicate only 28.5 percent of TESDA graduates were able to find work in 2006 to 2008.

But according to a 2012 TESDA study, 62.4 percent of their graduates have been able to find employment.

'Next Asian miracle'

"Note that these numbers are still improving: According to our TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, the most recent batch of trainees for the semiconductor industry has posted a 91-percent placement ratio," he said.

Aside from this, the President noted his administration also undertook a large-scale expansion of the conditional cash transfer program by quadrupling its budget over four years.

He said the CCT program is now assisting 4.3 million families, equivalent to about 22 percent of the population, that are expected to equip their children with the skills needed to become a "productive part of the workforce."

And even before this, the Philippines acquired a "renewed perception" from the international community because of the recent upgrade in credit ratings and standings in other indexes, the president said.

"Our country has the social and economic momentum to go from success to success, and truly make waves throughout our archipelago, in the international community, and in the vast, immeasurable ocean of history," he added.

"Next Asian miracle"

Foreign and local business leaders who attended the first day of the World Economic Forum on East Asia have agreed that the Philippines will have the strongest performing economy in Southeast Asia in 2014 .

They dubbed the country the “next Asian miracle”, a report on GMA News' “24 Oras” said Thursday.

“There is a positive momentum in the Philippines for the last three or four years. There is an incremental improvement in terms of the perception of economy, in terms of trade. I think the positive view is widely shared,” said Kevin Lu, a distinguished fellow of the multi-national graduate business school INSEAD.

Participants in the forum projected that the Philippines can even exceed the 6.5-percent growth rate target set by the government for this year.

PHL still needs consistency in leadership, inclusive growth

Despite the bright outlook, some economists said there are issues that need to be addressed to ensure that economic growth will be sustained.

These include the need for political stability and a more inclusive growth that will be felt by most Filipinos especially the poor.

“The Filipino market is quite tricky, more difficult than Indonesia because the size of the (Philippine) market is much smaller,” said Karim Raslan, chief executive officer of public affairs consulting firm, KRA Group, Malaysia.

“One thing you also have to look at is the consistency in leadership,” Raslan added.

Last year, the Philippines recorded a 7.2-percent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However, a Labor Force Survey (LFS) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the unemployment rate for January 2014 climbed to 7.5 percent or an estimated 2.9 million individuals, up from the 7.2 percent or 2.7 million individuals in January 2013.

A Social Weather Station (SWS) survey conducted from December 11 to December 16 in 2013 also indicated that 55 percent or about 11.8 million households considered themselves poor, up from 50 percent or 10.8 million households in September of the same year.

The SWS survey also showed an increase in the number of households who rated themselves as poor in terms of food. From 37 percent in September, the self-rated food poverty rose to 41 percent or about 8.8 million households before the year ended.

“Everyone must create wealth in this country, but we need to make sure that while we create wealth, we don't leave people behind us,” said Cherrie Atilano, co-founder of Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm Agricool.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez meanwhile said the country's economic growth cannot be simply described as a “miracle”

“I take a bit of an exception to the use of the word because it tends to imply that something happened that is unexplained... The logical explanation is, there was a restoration of faith in the leadership, consequently, there followed a restoration of faith in the system,” Jimenez said. —with a report from Elizabeth Marcelo/VS/NB/JDS, GMA News

FROM PHILSTAR

President Aquino running out of time SHOOTING STRAIGHT By Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 22, 2014 - 12:00am 19 157 googleplus0 0


Bobit S. Avila

The top nine big business organizations in this country have sought for a clearer and well-defined energy program to assuage security of power supply and stability in electric rates from President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III.

They are the top business organizations from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (PCCI), the Philippine Export Confederations (Philexport), the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, the American Chamber of the Philippines (AMCHAM), the European Chamber of the Philippines and others who signed a position paper in the hope that it would address the power problems of this country.


August 2012, DAVAO. President Benigno Aquino III gestures as he discussed with local officials and power industry stakeholders the proposed solutions to Mindanao power crisis in Friday's 1st Mindanao Power Summit held at WaterFront Insular Hotel. (King Rodriguez)

Pardon me fellas if I’m going to rain on your parade. But until now you still don’t get it!

Before the elections of 2010, the Cebu Business Club hosted the Presidentiables at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City, which was packed to the brim with businessmen and all the Presidentiables were present for a short speech and a very frank Q & A so we could find out what stuff our Presidentiables were made of.

When it came to Presidential hopeful Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III he had nothing much to say, but tell the Cebu businessmen “My administration will be one of consultation.”

Others like Manny Villar or Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. were very positive as they talked about giving Cebu more infrastructures so Cebu could grow faster.

It was then that we realized that Sen. Aquino who was a non-performing Congressman and equally dull as a Senator had no vision to lead the Philippines to greater heights. 


Gibo: Plight of farmers, power crisis are urgent concerns March 7, 2010 at 7:03pm


Presidential hopeful Manny Villar entertained the idea of supporting a nuclear power plant for Luzon. Mindanao considered the country’s second largest lake, Lake Mainit, in Surigao for a hydroelectric plant. Likewise, to ease dependence on Tongonan’s geothermal plant, Cebu then penned its hope in the Kepco-owned coal-fired power plant. February 2010

During the campaign, Sen. Aquino already promised to challenge the Catholic Church with the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. This is why from day one I was against this President and boy was I right on the nail!

Four years into his term, P-Noy has not given Cebu any infrastructure to hoot about… and yes, if Mindanao today is suffering from 10-hour blackouts, it could only be traced to the non-performance of his Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, who in an act of rare delicadeza submitted his resignation to the President last December.

But as you all know, the President refused to accept Petilla’s resignation, which only proves that P-Noy cares more about his friends than the people of Mindanao.

Now this non-performance has struck deep in the heart of the Luzon Grid when the National Grid Corp. (NGCP) announced that with a system capacity of 1,477 megawatts last Tuesday and a peak demand of 1,522 megawatts…this has caused power outages in some parts of Cebu due to near zero reserves.

With a near zero reserves for the Visayas Grid and a burning summer heat that has put the Angat Dam, Ambuklao Dam, Binga Dam, Magat Dam and Pantabangan Dam all experiencing below normal water levels, it means that the Luzon Grid would also be having rotating blackouts.

With trouble happening in the Luzon Grid, suddenly those nine big business organizations have sought for a clear-cut energy program from the Aquino regime.

When Mindanao suffered those 10-hour blackouts some months before, not a single business organization tried to help them. But now that the blackouts have threatened the Luzon Grid, these business organizations are now making an appeal to P-Noy. Businessmen like it or not are also uncaring!

Incidentally where is the Makati Business Club? I don’t see their name in that list?

They were the first to support P-Noy and we can only second-guess that they still believe that P-Noy can turn things around.

If you ask me… it is too late in the game for P-Noy to present any credible solution to the energy crisis that has made ours the most expensive power cost in Asia. In short, P-Noy has run out of time!

We can only trace our energy problems back to another Aquino presidency under then President Cory Aquino who cancelled the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), which would have given the Luzon Grid the cheapest power in Asia.

My heart sank when I learned that the sister plant that Westinghouse built for South Korea in Yongbyun, was still operating and giving Korea cheap power!

Indeed, the problem in this country is that the business sector just trusts our politicians too much to solve things for them…even if they don’t have any damn idea how to solve our power problems.

So what good is that position paper signed by the nine big business organizations?

Will it suddenly turn P-Noy into a miracle worker and solve our nation’s energy crisis?

I think he won’t! But for as long as the same people are running the Energy Department under Sec. Petilla, don’t expect things to change.

If those business groups want a real change, they must demand from P-Noy the resignations or the suspension of all those involved in the pork scam.

A change in the government would usher a fresh hope that things could be better than what we have today under the watch of P-Noy who has wasted his four years in office doing nothing.

Visayas still on red alert, Luzon on yellow alert as power plants still offline May 20, 2014 8:54am 47 23 0 103 Tags: National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (Updated 4:08 p.m.)

Brownouts remain a threat in Luzon and Visayas as their power grids were on yellow and red alert respectively as of Tuesday morning.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said Luzon's reserve power as of 6 a.m. amounted to 426 megawatts while Visayas' reserve power was zero megawatts.

Figures from the NGCP's 6 a.m. update showed the Luzon Grid has a system capacity of 8,950 MW and a system peak demand of 8,524 MW and reserves of 426 MW.

In the Visayas grid, the NGCP noted a system capacity of 1,477 MW and a projected peak demand of 1,522 MW. The Mindanao grid has a system capacity of 1,078 MW and projected peak demand of 1,176 MW.

NGCP raises the “yellow alert” when the total reserve is less than the capacity of the largest plant online. For the Luzon grid, this is 647 MW.

On the other hand, a red alert is raised when the contingency reserve is zero or a generation deficiency exists.

Earlier, the NGCP said a plant in Quezon province broke down and is not expected to return online until Thursday.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla on Monday said three power plants in the Visayas went offline, including one each in Cebu, Iloilo and Leyte. The Department of Energy expects them to be back online within this week.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Department of Energy is monitoring the status of the power supply on an hourly basis.

He likewise said that Petilla is giving "continuing updates" to the President about the power situation.

"Iniulat nga niya yung pagkakaroon ng rotational brownouts, at yung kanyang pagpapahayag ng kahilingan sa mga large electricity users na meron namang sarili nilang generating facilities na gamitin muna yon para ma-ease yung demand sa Luzon grid," he said. —Joel Locsin and Kimberly Jane Tan/KG/KBK, GMA News

 


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE