Friday, August 20, 2010

Aquino Cabinet yields to Supreme Court on Vat on Toll Fees

 The BIR Commissioner promised that she would defend the implementation of the VAT on toll fees but Finance Department Cesar Purisima advised the President to wait for the Supreme Court decision.

Here is the story from GMA7.

It is now up to the Supreme Court to rule whether or not the proposed 12-percent value added tax on toll rates by is legal.

His economic managers advised President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to wait for the Supreme Court decision on the petitions stopping government from imposing the VAT – a sales tax – on fees for the right to use the country’s expressways or toll roads.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pork Barrel Increased

Next year, the pork barrel is increased to Php 22.3 billion from the original Php 6.9 billio.

Here is the news:

Aquino for P22.3-billion 'pork'

DBM requires menu of projects
August 10, 2010, 4:31pm
Despite its belt-tightening pronouncement, the Aquino government has proposed a P22.3-billion pork barrel next year, a 223.18 percent increase from this year’s allocation of P6.9 billion – with the P15.4 billion increment to finance infrastructure projects.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said President Benigno S. Aquino III raised the allocation of the pork barrel, officially known as Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), next year with a safeguard, requiring a “menu” for the utilization of the fund.

“The PDAF is higher at P22.3 billion. However, this will incorporate both the hard and soft components of the program. The menus will be limited to the priority programs of the administration,” Abad said last the administration,” Abad told reporters last Monday.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Office of the Press Secretary is now PCOO

President Benigno Aquino has two cabinet secretaries for his communications need.
Except of the news:

(Updated 3 p.m.) Malacañang finally issued Executive Order (EO) No. 4 formally creating the administration's communications team tasked to disseminate messages from President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and receive feedback from the public.

EO No. 4 restructures the Office of the Press Secretary and renames it the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

"There is a vital need to re-organize and effect functional changes within the Office of the Press Secretary and create an office to systematize, rationalize, and complement the existing structure to achieve a more efficient and systematic interaction between the people, the Office of the President, and the Executive Branch," according to EO 4.

The PCOO has two heads — former broadcaster Ricky Carandang and former Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Sonny Coloma, both with Cabinet rank. Its tasks include developing guidelines on information dissemination and managing state-owned media entities for the Office of the President and the rest of the executive branch.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Hacienda Luisita Compromise Deal

 It seems the problem on Hacienda Luisita is not yet solved with the compromise deal reached by the management and the representatives of the labor unions.

Excerpt of the news:
More than a third of the 10,502 farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. have chosen to retain their stocks in the corporation instead of land parcels as of Saturday afternoon. However, an agrarian reform official warned that the previous government already revoked the stock distribution option (SDO), now the subject of a Supreme Court case.

Some 6,000 have yet to make their choice.

More than 4,000 farmer-beneficiaries from five barangays in the hacienda have so far chosen to stick with the SDO while only 41 signed up for actual land distribution, according to farmer Eldifonso Pingol.

Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Narciso Nieto meanwhile said he was personally “surprised" at the figures apparently showing that more farmers prefer to keep their stocks in the corporation than acquire their own land.

Hindi ba (Didn't) the PARC [Presidential Agrarian Reform Council] order the SDO to be revoked in 2005 because of clamor of the farmers? Then all of sudden, mukhang nanalo ang SDO (it now turns out that SDO won)," he told GMANews.TV in a separate interview.

He however declined to comment further on the referendum, saying majority of the farmers have not yet participated in the signing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

President Aquino fired all midnight appointees

President Aquino revoked all midnight appointments allegedly made by former President Gloria Arroyo.
Here is the excerpt of the news:

Malacañang, through its second executive order, revoked on Wednesday the "midnight appointments" made by the previous Arroyo administration.

This was revealed by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda at a press briefing in Malacañang as they presented President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's Executive Order No. 2 "recalling, withdrawing, and revoking appointments issued by the previous administration in violation of the Constitutional ban on midnight appointments."

EO No. 2, signed July 30, laid out three conditions that constitute midnight appointments made by Arroyo and other appointing authorities in "departments, agencies, offices, and instrumentalities including government owned or controlled corporations."