Midweek, Wed. - Fri., September 08 - 10, 2010 Balita
Aquino acknowledges GMA’s successful economic run during term
NS – THE Aquino administration’s economic managers have acknowledged that the Arroyo administration managed the economy well in its nine-year term, an official said Friday. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Bangko Sentral Governor
Amando Tetangco Jr. conceded the good job done by former President Gloria Arroyo during the first hearing on the proposed P1.64-trillion national budget for 2011 by the House of Representatives’ Commit- tee on Appropriations, House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman said. He said Purisima and Tetangco cited the country’s strong economic fundamentals, the proof of which was the 7.9-percent economic growth in the first six months.
“There is no lackluster economic performance as they [the Aquino administration] have been alleging,” Lagman said following the pre- sentations by Purisima and Tetangco and the Aquino administration’s other economic managers before the committee.
“The figures, data and statistics could not be denied,” Lagman said. “In other words, the previous administration did not bungle the
economy. We have good economic fundamentals which had been left behind by the previous administration and, hopefully, this will not be reversed by the present administration.”
Deputy Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the figures presented
by Mr. Aquino’s economic managers showed they inherited a sound economy.
“How [President Arroyo] managed the government and the econ- omy – Filipinos will give a positive yes,” Suarez said. ■
Aquino’s acceptance of responsibility on hostage tragedy lauded
MANILA, Sept. 6 (PNA) – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Monday that President Benigno S. Aquino III did the right move in accepting the responsibility over the botched hostage drama that killed eight tourists from Hong Kong. ”That shows that he’s confident enough to assume responsibility. And that is as it should be. Everything stops at his door. He is the Chief Executive of the land. No one is higher than him,” Enrile said in a media interview before a short Senate session. Enrile said there is no need to revamp the newly-formed Cabinet of President Aquino but any member can quit if he “feels he’s weak.” ”To the outside world and the Filipino people, he is responsible for the conduct of government and all his subordinates are responsible to him. If a member of the Cabinet feels he’s weak, then he should quit,” Enrile said.
When asked if Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jessie Robredo should resign, Enrile said it would depend upon the President what he would do with Robredo who is only in acting capacity. Citing the Constitution, Enrile said the DILG secretary has no direct control over the police. ”He’s just chairman of the National Police Commission (NA- POLCOM). The one that has administrative supervision and control over the police is the Napolcom, not the DILG secretary. He cannot act alone. He has to act through the Commission,” Enrile explained. Earlier, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus
Versoza has also assumed the responsibility for the botched rescue operation.
Meanwhile, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. defended the President’s acceptance of responsibility, saying it is “a confirmation of being a responsible leader.” ■
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BY JOANN S. VILLANUEVA MANILA, Sept. 6 (PNA) – Bids for the one-year Treasury bill (T-bill) reached almost six times the P3.5 billion offering of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) Monday on account of continued low inflation environment. Total tenders for this tenor reached P20.46 billion, far higher than the offering but the auction committee awarded as offered. Rate of the one-year bill aver- aged at 4.49 percent, lower than the 4.56 percent it fetched in the previous auction.
Also, bids for the three-month and six-month T-bills were also higher than the offering. Total bids for the three-month paper reached P2.32 billion from the P1.5 billion offering while bids for the six-month paper amounted to P7.05 billion from an offering of P3 billion, both of which were awarded as offered. Average rate of the three- month paper slightly went up to 3.94 percent from 3.93 percent
Investors swamp T-bills auction
previously while highest was at 4.05 percent and low at 3.90 percent.
The six-month paper averaged at 4.32 percent from 4.30 percent two weeks ago with the highest at 4.35 percent and lowest at 4.25 percent.
National Treasurer Roberto
Tan told reporters after the auc- tion that investors were taking advantage of the continued de- cline in the country’s rate of price increases.
“Inflation rate is expected to be benign so there are lots of li- quidity and investors are already locking in,” he said. Tan said that because of the benign inflation outlook, inves- tors do not expect any increase in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) policy rate. Central bank’s policy rates have been on record low of four percent for the overnight borrow- ing rate and six percent for the overnight lending rate.
These have been steady since July 2009 on account of the con- tinued drop of inflation and mon- etary official’s decision to keep a wait-and-see stance regarding the global economy. “They don’t expect it to hap- pen too soon,” he said noting that this results to flattening of the yield curve.
Aside from the benign infla- tion outlook, the market is also awash with cash because of ma- turities, he said. Tan said there are about P38.7 billion worth of maturing retail treasury bond (RTBs) on Sept. 8, 2010 while some P6.5 billion worth of T-bills will mature this week.
Relatively, the BTr chief said the government’s move to lengthen maturities of its debt instruments may result to larger volume of longer-tenor papers in the fourth quarter this year. “That could always be the pri- mary consideration,” he said but declined to elaborate. ■
Aquino embarks on week-long debut as RP leader in world stage
BY GLORIA JANE BAYLON MANILA, Sept. 6 (PNA) – President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III will debut on the world stage as Philippine Head of State when he meets with Presi- dent Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the United States on September 24. In New York, Pres. Aquino will address the 65th
tions General Assembly (UNGA), his first opportunity to reaffirm the Philippine Government’s commitment to the UN Charter and its principles before a gather- ing of over 150 Heads of State/ Government since his election last June.
The meetings with the two renowned leaders are part of the week-long activities of President Aquino during his September 20-26 visit to the U.S., the Depart- ment of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
This year’s UNGA theme is
“Reaffirming the Central Role of the United Nations in Global Governance,” which the DFA described as “fully aligned with President Aquino’s platform of institutionalizing good gover- nance and combating poverty.” The Aquino-Obama meeting is in line with the Philippines’ role as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue relations for the period 2009-2012. This year’s meeting of the 2nd ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting is in New York, where Aquino will have a chance to meet with counterparts in the ASEAN and lead discussions. The first such meeting was in Singapore. As Country Coordinator, the Philippines has a mandate to broaden and deepen the spheres of cooperation between the coun- tries of Southeast Asia and the United States, particularly the
implementation of the outcome of the Leaders’ Meetings, the directives of Foreign Ministers issued during the annual Post- Ministerial Conference session with the United States, and the Plan of Action to Implement ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partner- ship, DFA said.
It is possible the $434-million Millennium Challenge Compact agreement between the Philip- pine government and the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corp. will be signed in New York, according to DFA.
The College of Mount Saint
Vincent in New York, the alma mater of his late mother and former Philippine President Cora- zon Aquino, will confer Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal to the current President. He is being recognized for “his extraordinary service as a public official.”
MANILA, Sep. 7 (PNA) – President Benigno Aquino III is interested in having Department of Labor and Employment chief Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz con- tinue leading this agency. “I might request her to do so,” the Chief Executive said Tuesday. He made known such intention while admitting being pleased about Baldoz’ performance as DOLE head.
Earlier reports said Baldoz, environment chief Sec. Ramon Paje and interior secretary Jes- se Robredo are excluded from Malacañang’s list of nominees for confirmation by Commission on Appointments (CA) as they’re serving in an acting capacity only. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda clarified earlier presidential appointees who serve in such capacity need not go through CA’s confirmation pro- cess unlike those with ad interim appointments.
The college offers the Aquino scholarship which was created in honor of Corazon C. Aquino. Its Department of Modern Lan- guages offers Filipino and it will soon put up a Filipino Studies program, according to DFA. President Aquino is also scheduled to address the Council of Foreign Relations on Philip- pine-U.S. relations and on the Philippine perspective of the cur- rent international affairs. The Council is a leading U.S. think-tank with such luminaries as former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell among its directors. The President’s visit to the U.S. will culminate in a Gala Dinner of the Philippine Devel- opment Forum (formerly known as the Ayala Foundation-USA) where he will deliver the keynote speech. ■
Aquino may keep DOLE chief
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Her- minio “Sonny” Coloma believes the nature of Cabinet members’ appointments has no bearing on their work performance since they are are expected to serve govern- ment well.
He noted Cabinet members like him serve at the President’s pleasure and can be replaced if they no longer enjoy his trust and confidence.
“All of us can be removed anytime,” he said Tuesday during a Palace news conference. President Aquino acknowl- edged he considered for DENR’s top post two other personalities aside from Paje.
The Chief Executive noted he’ll evaluate Paje’s performance after a year.
The President likewise clari- fied he appointed Robredo in an acting capacity to see if they can harmonize their working styles. ■
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