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Palace sued on pork, for contempt over SC rule

By Riza Lozada Former senator and Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson Jr. is petitioning the Supreme Court (SC) on August 10 to restrain the Aquino administration, primarily Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, from using portions of the budget, which, he said, is part of what he termed as the resurrected pork-barrel system in this year’s budget.

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P171-B ‘Yolanda’ funds now under DBM control

By Luis Leoncio The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) under Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, a key member of President Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP), is now in control of the billions intended for the rehabilitation of the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).

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Speaker key to distribution of ‘pork’ to admin allies

How was the pork-barrel system embedded in the 2015 budget? Former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said his research team found that lump-sum items are parked in the National Expenditure Program (NEP)—or the Palace-proposed budget— for later distribution to members of the House of Representatives, then to administration allies at the discretion of the Speaker in the approved General Appropriations Act (GAA).

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National unity, better business climate, equitable economy

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., articulating his vision for a better Philippines, said the government should create a better environment for the business sector and work for a more equitable distribution of wealth to improve the lot of the poor.

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DOT launches campaign to lure Russian tourists

By Riza Lozada Major Russian carriers, including Aeroflot, will be used as platform for the marketing of the “More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT). Some 40,000 Russians visit the country annually, according to government data. “We are confident that the new arrangements will help us meet our targets for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS),” Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said. The CIS includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, …

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‘BSP’s moves on peso inimical to Philippine growth’

By Lito U. Gagni The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) policy of strengthening the peso is among the factors that have denied the country of inclusive growth, the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) said. FEF President Calixto Chikiamco said the need for a “competitive exchange rate” is one of the five desired objectives that the country needs to have inclusive growth, or growth whose economic benefits filter down to include the masses. Chikiamco was one of the featured …

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Underspending on food programs worries Chiz

By Luis Leoncio One of President Aquino’s closest allies has called attention to the chronic government underspending that critics of the administration said has become a “policy.”

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DOLE firm on stricter hiring policies

By Riza Lozada The government is standing firm on its “mandate” to implement policies and rules aimed at ensuring better protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said recently.

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Tax cuts, improved lives sought in PNoy’s last Sona

By Luis Leoncio President Aquino is being asked to devote his last State of the Nation Address (Sona)—his legacy speech, according to many—to unfulfilled promises and the improvement of his countrymen’s daily lives.

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‘Palace, solons conspired to resurrect P700-B pork’

By Luis Leoncio The pork-barrel system that was resurrected in the 2015 budget, reaching as much as P700 billion in lump sums, was the likely result of a conspiracy of some members of the Executive and Legislative branches to park lump-sum appropriations without intending to use these for the recommended purposes but actually for the selected legislators to realign their …

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