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PPP schemes cost the government more, says Canadian study

Thursday, July 19, 2012

PPP schemes cost the government more, says Canadian study 
The study revealed that for every two schools financed through PPP in Alberta, Canada, an additional school could be built for the same cost.

As President Benigno Aquino III prepares to deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23, he is expected to sing praises to his administration’s centerpiece program comprised of public-private partnerships (PPP).

Youth group Anakbayan in Mindanao said Aquino’s claims that PPPs are good for the economy is not based on fact. It said that the exact opposite has been proven by a recent study in Canada, which revealed that allowing the private sector to fund infrastructure projects costs more than if the government spends for it.
“President Aquino has turned over the responsibility to provide the Filipino people with important and necessary social services to the private sector, ” said Cherry Orendain, Anakbayan spokesperson in the Southern Mindanao Region.

Orendain cited a study conducted by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) declaring that government infrastructure projects cost more when funded in partnership with private or corporate institutions.

“The study revealed that for every two schools financed through PPP in Alberta, Canada, an additional school could be built for the same cost, ” Orendain said.

In a study released May 2012, CUPE said that public-private partnerships cost more yet deliver less. It said the privatization of British Columbia’s sewage treatment system had it pushed through would have cost $116 million more. The construction of an events center experienced deficits, delays and cost over-runs that forced the city of Penticton, B.C to reduce services in other vital areas, including policing and community recreation. The city was unable to transfer the construction risk to their private partner and taxpayers were handed a bill for over $25 million in added costs..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/18/ppp-schemes-cost-the-government-more-says-canadian-study/

One down, two rise Written by Tribune Editorial

One down, two rise

 It would have been very difficult for the Supreme Court (SC) to justify the vote of two members of Congress who today sit in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), as the Constitution clearly states that a representative, not two, from Congress is eligible for one vote.

The JBC members affected are Sen. Chiz Escudero amd Rep. Niel Tupas Jr.  It could be one or the other who would be representing Congress, or both, but with the vote divided into half.

It all depends on how the two members decide between themselves, or how the SC has decided on this issue of the retention of both congressional members.

Chances are, however, that the SC will leave this  division of the vote to the JBC, or the two members themselves, for sorting out.

To reject former Solgen Frank Chavez’s petition on this constitutional proviso may prove fatal to the high court, if it continues to dump constitutional provisions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/1723-one-down-two-rise

Hypocritical no wang-wang policy Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Hypocritical no wang-wang policy

The hypocrisy of the “no wang-wang” policy of Noynoy, during his inauguration as president can hardly be missed, after Noynoy and his escorts in a convoy not only got riled up over a Quezon City policeman not giving them way, but also had him sacked for the same reason.

The hypocrisy arises due to the fact that when Noynoy enunciated his “no more wang-wang policy,” what was meant then was that the wang-wangs or sirens were the symbols of power, influence and perks and he wanted that stopped.

Remember what Noynoy said then? Didn’t he tell the nation, the gist of which was: “Have you been irked by these wang-wangs that make you move out of the way so these powerful people could pass?” He then added: “Me, too.”

This was later followed by his claim to the nation of “kayo ang boss ko.”

But even as the sirens were muted, the symbol of power was still there, in those blinking blue and red lights of government escorts---especially the President and his escorts--replaced the wang-wang, although they serve the very same purpose and symbol, since vehicles still have to make way for these powerful people in government.

He also said the attitudinal change in the people — which his mouthpieces claim is his biggest achievement — has come, what with drivers now stopping at red traffic lights..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1722-hypocritical-no-wang-wang-policy

Russian warships in Syria: Any guesses?

Russian warships in Syria: Any guesses?

The departure of a large group of ships of the Russian Navy to the coast of Syria is pursuing two well-defined goals, experts believe. The first one of them is to reinforce Russia's stance on Syria with real arguments. The second one is to evacuate Russian citizens from the country, if necessary.

However, they suspect in the West that the training and combat mission of the Russian warships is being carried out to cover up the delivery of arms to the troops of Bashar al-Assad. Many in the West also think that the mission manifests Russia's claim for a piece of the Syrian coast, on which there is an army base in Tartus. Traditionally, the Defense Ministry does not share much information on the subject. Russian defense officials do not hurry to confirm the information saying that the Russian ships will call at a Syrian port.

Landing ship "Caesar Kunikov" of the Black Sea Fleet went to the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday, Interfax said. "On Sunday, the ship was ordered to follow in the Mediterranean Sea ... The ship will be solving the tasks of military service. The plan of the mission stipulates a stop at the Syrian port of Tartus to replenish stocks. A Marine Corps detachment in on board the ship," said the source. It was also said that that rescue tug "Miner" took the course in the Mediterranean Sea.  Earlier, rescue tug SB-5 entered the Mediterranean Sea too..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/11-07-2012/121628-russia_syria_warships-0/

Kim Dotcom judge quits after calling US 'the enemy'

Kim Dotcom judge quits after calling US 'the enemy'

New Zealand Judge David Harvey has stepped down from the Kim Dotcom trial after making remarks that could cast doubt on his impartiality. Harvey was to oversee the extradition case against the internet entrepreneur, who is wanted by the US.

­Last week, Judge Harvey, who is also an internet law expert, was a featured speaker at a conference discussing the TPP treaty – a multilateral treaty between the US and ten other countries, whose copyright provisions have been described as stricter than ACTA, the copyright law recently rejected by Europe.
Harvey noted that under the terms of the treaty, those who change regions on region-restricted DVDs would be classed as criminals.

“We have met the enemy, and he is US,” summed up Harvey..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/kim-dotcom-megaupload-judge-quirs-481/

What are customer relations department for Written by Charlie V. Manalo Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00

What are customer relations department for

I just can’t understand why business firms, especially service providers, maintain a unit for customer relations when they are virtually useless.

Last April 24, I got a call from my cable service provider, Cignal TV, asking me if would prefer to have my billing electronically transmitted instead of through the conventional mailing system. Since I always received my bills very late, I agreed to its  proposal. Cignal’s billing date is on the first day of each month but I usually receive my bill by the end of the month. And take note the due date for settling my bills falls on the 25th of each month.

The voice on the other end of the line told me that they have assigned for me a password so that I can access my electronically-transmitted bill. But since I didn’t have a pen that time, he told me he would be calling the following day, asking me to make sure I have a ready pen to jot down my password.

Before hanging up, he reminded me to settle my bill which I promised I would as soon as I return home as I was out of town that time. Also, I remember asking him not to disconnect my services as I would only be gone for a few days and that I would be settling my account as soon as I got home. To that, he acceded..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1714-what-are-customer-relations-department-for

Health workers continue to press for return of hazard pay

Health workers continue to press for return of hazard pay

MANILA — Health workers continue to protest against the refusal of the Aquino government to release their hazard pay and other benefits. In a statement, the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) said health workers have been appealing to both the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the last months, but to no avail.

Jossel Ebesate, AHW president, said that as of the second week of July, more than 29,000 health workers deployed all over the country have not received their hazard pay. What made the situation worse, Ebesate said, is when the DOH issued its Department Memorandum No. 2012-0181 last June 25 stopping the issuance of hazard pay until DBM approves the use of the concerned agency’s savings as per the latter’s guidelines.

The AHW said that the memorandum was issued without passing through consultations with health workers.
“This is a violation of the Magna Carta of Health Workers (R.A. 7305) and the Joint Resolution No 4. Hazard pay is a recognition of the health workers’ nature of work, which exposes them to occupational hazards as stipulated in the said laws. Every day as health workers enter their respective hospitals, they are exposed to risks of various types. All hospitals are homes of hazardous, and even lethal pathogens that spread over the entire place. Even the patients themselves pose threats to health workers’ lives like the mental patients at the National Center for Mental Health,” Ebesate pointed out..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/18/health-workers-continue-to-press-for-return-of-hazard-pay/

Agreement sealed on forming of new 'Bangsamoro' entity

Agreement sealed on forming of new 'Bangsamoro' entity

  • Written by 
  • Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government agreed to wrap up discussions on the setting up of a new "political entity" to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at the end of the 29th round of exploratory talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A joint statement said both sides expressed confidence in wrapping up discussions on mechanisms towards the realization of a new political entity that would replace the ARMM as contained in the April 2012 GRP-MILF Decision Points on Principles..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1743-agreement-sealed-on-forming-of-new-bangsamoro-entity

CoA finds anomalies in Noy’s 2011 CCT

CoA finds anomalies in Noy’s 2011 CCT


Several anomalies, including deficiencies in the screening process of beneficiaries and unliquidated fund transfers, were among the findings of the Commission on Audit (CoA) in its review of the flagship conditional cash transfer (CCT) program or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of President Aquino which was funded with P23 billion out of last year’s budget.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under Secretary Corazon Soliman administers the CCT, the funding for which next year will be doubled to P40 billion.

In its review of the program, the agency said that out of 1,400 sampled 4Ps beneficiaries, “96 were not extremely poor and were earning income” which translates to about six percent of those sampled that would be equivalent to about 206,000 households of the total 3 million current beneficiaries of the CCT.

The CoA findings cast doubts on the accuracy of the procedures and methodology used during the selection of poor households, according to the state audit agency.  .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1747-coa-finds-anomalies-in-noy%E2%80%99s-2011-cct

Palace, military clear China, say no ‘intrusion’ Written by Fernan J. Angeles and Mario J. Mallari Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00

Palace, military clear China, say no ‘intrusion’

Malacañang does not consider Chinese vessels off the disputed Spratlys a provocative act while the military assured that the huge fishing fleet, escorted by Beijing-controlled surveillance ship, has not crossed Philippine boundaries.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, at a press briefing, yesterday said the Philippine government  believes that both countries, which have been locked in a standoff since April, would be able to resolve the conflict amicably, even as he claimed that Chinese official Xi Jinping as mentioning his government’s preference for a peaceful solution to the territorial dispute over the South China Sea.

“They have stated openly, very recently, Xi Jinping has already mentioned that they would prefer a peaceful resolution. Both countries have manifested a peaceful resolution to the differences. We are hopeful again, we are always hopeful that we can arrive at a peaceful resolution,” he stressed.

Asked for comment over report claiming a fleet of 30 Chinese fishing boats operating in disputed waters in the South China Sea, Lacierda  is not convinced that the situation has worsened as compared with that of two months ago.

“I think it has not worsened. There were instances, for instance, the vessels have withdrawn from Scarborough Shoal. They are back… Obviously, China has not taken any action — provocative action in terms of military action. And so, since there has been no military action, we are always hopeful that a peaceful resolution will be maintained by both parties,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune


DoJ clarifies reward rates for smuggling whistle-blowers

DoJ clarifies reward rates for smuggling whistle-blowers

A ruling by the Department of Justice (DoJ) says  informers’ rewards given to persons instrumentalin the confiscation of smuggled goods should be limited to 10 percent of the fair market value of the seized items or P1 million, whichever is lower.

In a five-page legal opinion, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima supported the position of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima that Section 282 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) should be the applicable law in determining the informer’s rewards and not Section 3513 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).

Section 3513 states that “a cash reward equivalent to 20 per centum of the fair market value of the smuggled and confiscated goods shall be given to the officers and men and informers who are instrumental in the discovery and seizure of such goods.”

De Lima noted that Section 3513 of the TCCP has been impliedly repealed or amended by Section 282 (b) of the NIRC since both refer to informer’s reward..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1745-doj-clarifies-reward-rates-for-smuggling-whistle-blowers

Solon slams phaseout of charity wards Written by Charlie V. Manalo Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00

Solon slams phaseout of charity wards

 Written by Charlie V. Manalo Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño yesterday lambasted the government’s plan to phase out charity wards in 2013.

“Phasing out charity wards is grossly inhumane. This will displace poor patients especially those who are not covered by the PhilHealth sponsored program,” Casiño said.

Charity beds number 42,997 in 703 government hospitals based on government data as of 2006.

Casiño said that six out of 10 Filipinos die without having any medical attention, based on Asian Development Bank Country Partnership Strategy: Philippines (2011 to 2016). This situation may worsen since most patients cannot afford the increasing charges in government hospitals.

Casiño pointed out that out that nearly half of health care costs are paid out-of-pocket. Even those covered by PhilHealth have to pay out of their pockets. Given the limited package and coverage of PhilHeath, the poor will be further disenfranchised of the right to health.

Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines has one of the highest out-of-pocket share at 54.7 percent and one of the lowest government share at only 34.7 percent..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1744-solon-slams-phaseout-of-charity-wards

DoJ junks Gatdula’s plea to suspend probe of his case

DoJ junks Gatdula’s plea to suspend probe of his case

 Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Thursday, 19 July 2012

Embattled former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula’s plea to suspend the kidnapping charges filed against him and several others by Japanese Noriyo Ohara has been turned down by government prosecutors.

In an 18-page omnibus order, the Department of Justice (DoJ) panel of investigating prosecutors led by Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera saw no merit in Gatdula’s argument that the proceedings should be deferred pending resolution of a suit he filed before the Regional Trial Court of Manila City against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and members of a DoJ fact-finding panel.

The panel pointed out that the issues raised before the Manila RTC are not similar to the issues subject of the preliminary investigation. Navera noted that the petitions before the Manila RTC primarily assailed the constitutionality of Department Order (DO) No. 1007 which created the fact-finding panel and the actions and proceedings conducted by the fact-finding panel.

The issue raised in the preliminary investigation is whether or not there is sufficient ground to establish probable cause for the filing of kidnapping, grave coercion, falsification and robbery before the trial court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1720-doj-junks-gatdula’s-plea-to-suspend-probe-of-his-case

Decide now on lifting of expiry dates of cellphone load, NTC told

Decide now on lifting of expiry dates of cellphone load, NTC told

 Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 19 July 2012

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is being made to explain to the Senate public services committee why it is taking it too long to decide on the lifting of the expiry dates of prepaid load for mobile phones

“The NTC said it would take them no less than two months to decide. That’s too long. This is why I am writing the NTC as chairman of the committee on public services to ask them to submit their studies on the matter, and to expedite the process,” Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. announced yesterday.

Reports said the NTC is mulling the removal of expiry dates and load validity period on prepaid cards. But the agency is still studying the possible effects among telecommunication companies.

“Why does (prepaid) load (card) which represents the consumers’ money has to have an expiration date? These are hard-earned money and most subscribers try as much as they can not to put to waste their cellphone load so it’s unfair if this will be forfeited simply because it has expired. That to me, I think, is unacceptable,” he said.

“Pwede nating maintindihan kung para sa mga fixed-period promo yan, tulad ng call and text all you can, o kaya browse and surf all you can for one day, pero sa mga regular load, hindi dapat,” he added.
Revilla expressed support to the measure and urged the NTC to implement it as soon as possible...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

 URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1719-decide-now-on-lifting-of-expiry-dates-of-cellphone-load-ntc-told

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