The Daily Roundup: 24 January 2011

Paderanga says economy likely grew by 6.5% in 4th quarter” by Iris C. Gonzales

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga expressed hopes that the economy grew by 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter so that the full 2010 growth would be above seven percent.

Paderanga said holiday spending likely fueled growth in the fourth quarter of the year as well as the usual dollar inflows from overseas Filipino workers.

“We have seen our economy steadfastly expand despite the decline in agriculture due to the El Nino onslaught,” he said.

Read more at The Philippine Star

BSP likely to hike ’11 inflation forecast” by L.D. Desiderio

THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) may raise its inflation forecast for the year due to pressures such as rising global commodity prices, but the inflation rate is still expected to fall within target ranges, a central bank official said.

BSP Assistant Governor Cyd N. Tuano-Amador told reporters on Friday that the central bank is constantly reviewing the inflation forecast to take into account the latest data on inflation and exports. “We will be presenting two weeks from now what would be the new [inflation] forecast,” she said.

She said that inflationary pressures are seen due to the higher prices of global commodities. “We always say that we are very cognizant that there are upside and downside risks. It is our view that balance of risks seems to have slanted or tilted towards the upside slightly because of commodity prices, including oil,” she said.

Read more at Business World

No plans to abolish NFA yet – Palace” by Aurea Calica, Celso Amo

Malacañang has no concrete plans yet to abolish the National Food Authority despite its P176.7- billion debt.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said a formal investigation and audit are underway to determine how to reform the NFA.

Read more at The Philippine Star

End project guarantees, gov’t urged” by Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is urging President Benigno Aquino III to drop all state guarantees for projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) program, including railroads, toll ways, seaports and airports.

“The Philippine government should not make any guarantee in any form. It should only make sure that the bidding process is fair and square,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a recent interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer at the SMC headquarters in Ortigas Center in Pasig City.

Read more at Philippine Daily Inquirer

DA seeks P6.4-billion World Bank funding for Mindanao project” by Marianne V. Go

The Philippines is hoping to secure continued funding of up to P6.4 billion from the World Bank for the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP).

This was disclosed over the weekend by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala following a recent joint review by the Department of Agriculture and the World Bank of the MRDP.

Read more at The Philippine Star

Hot money inflows at record $4.6B” by Jimmy Calapati

Foreign portfolio investments in 2010 yielded a net inflow of $4.6 billion, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

This is almost 12 times the $388 million net inflow for 2009. It is the highest recorded for the past seven years, surpassing the previous record of $3.5 billion in 2007.

Read more at Malaya Business Insight

Piatco” ‘Favored businessmen’ behind NAIA-3anti-dummy suit” by Lala Rimando

The Department of Justice’s move to charge anti-dummy law violations against the builders of controversial NAIA-3 airport terminal shows that the Aquino government’s lawyers are in “cahoots with their favored business personalities,” Piatco said in a statement Saturday.

Piatco, or the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc., is the consortium of Filipino and German firms that won the right to build and operate Terminal 3, an international airport facility at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, the country’s main gateway. Their contract was scuttled by the Arroyo government in 2002, triggering legal cases here and abroad.

Read more at ABS-CBN News

Palace: NAIA 3 dummying raps show gov’t resolve” by Regina Bengo

Malacañang yesterday said the filing of dummying charges against officials of Fraport AG and Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco) will demonstrate the Aquino administration’s resolve to hold investors to the highest standards in doing business.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also dismissed fears that the Department of Justice’s recommendation to file criminal charges would frighten investors.

Read more at Malaya Business Insight

Auditor in pluncer case to launch truth campaign” by Yvonne Chua and Ellen Tordesillas

A FORMER state auditor who testified against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia disclosed over the weekend she has been “requested” by a government office to tell the public that the evidence in the plunder case against the retired major general is weak.

But the request, made about a week after the Sandiganbayan on December 16 allowed Garcia to post bail on the basis of his plea-bargain agreement with special prosecutors, has only “strengthened Heidi Mendoza’s resolve to reveal what she says is “the truth behind the Garcia case.”

Read more at Business Mirror

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