The Daily Roundup: 9 February 2011

Death was honorable way out for Reyes by Ron Gagalac

The suicide of former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes was his “honorable way out,” University of the Philippines political scientist Dr. Clarita Carlos said.

She compared Reyes’ decision to ancient Japanese warriors committing ritual suicide when they lose honor and dignity.

“It’s ‘hara-kiri.’ It’s the honorable way out, a combination of loss of hope, loss of self esteem, the shame factor,” she said.

Read more at ABS-CBN News

Arroyo hails Reyes for ‘courage, patriotic service’by Lira Dalangin-Fernandez

Former president and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hailed former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes for his “courage and patriotic service” as she condoled with his family over the untimely death.

“We join the family, friends and colleagues of Secretary Angelo Reyes in mourning his tragic passing. … We pray for the repose of his soul, and call on our people to remember above all his courage and patriotic service,” Arroyo said through her spokesperson Elena Horn-Bautista.

Read more at The Philippine Daily Inquirer

Global crisis pushed more families into povertyby Darwin G. Amojelar

THE impact of the global financial crisis and the calamities that struck the country have resulted in more poor Filipino families, the government reported Tuesday.

In its 2009 Official Poverty Statistics report, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said poor Filipino families numbered 3.86 million, up from 3.67 million in 2006, using the new methodology.

Using the old methodology, the number of poor households reached 4.9 million in 2009, higher than the 4.7 million in 2006.

Read more at The Manila Times

NSCB ‘frees’ 9M from povertyby Angela Celis

A total of 9 million Filipinos who have not seen any improvement in their material circumstances have been freed from poverty under a new way of computing the cost of food and other methodological “refinements” adopted by the National Statistical Coordination Board.

Under the new methodology, the NSCO placed the poverty incidence at 26.5 percent in 2009, a slight increase from 26.4 percent in 2006.

Under the old methodology, the poverty incidence was 37.3 percent in 2009 and 36.16 percent in 2006.

Read more at Malaya

Birthday wish: Make people’s lives betterby Jocelyn Montemayor

PRESIDENT Aquino on his 51st birthday yesterday made a commitment to work doubly hard to better the lives of Filipinos soonest.

In an ambush interview at a medical-dental mission organized in his honor by the Office of the President, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Presidential Security Group at the Chino Roces Bridge parking area outside Malacañang Palace, Aquino said he no longer has any wishes to make for himself.

He said he is more interested in the “transformation of society for the betterment of our people’s lives at a faster pace than what we have so far managed to achieve.”

Read more at Malaya

Disappointing 2011 budgetby Benjamin E. Diokno

Policymakers who look up to the public sector as a major source of growth in 2011 are in for a major disappointment. Planned public spending, net of debt service, is expected to contract in real terms. Direct spending for public infrastructure is expected to slow, too, as appropriations for various public works decline. This, combined with the shrinking list of public-private partnership (PPP) projects that are ready to be bid and implemented this year, will mean another slow year for public construction.

Expectedly, the fastest growing item in the 2011 national budget is interest payments — from P276 billion in 2010 to P357 billion in 2011, or by a whopping 29.3%.

Total planned government spending, net of interest payments, is expected to increase from P1.249 trillion in 2010 to P1.273 trillion in 2011, or by a measly 1.9%. Corrected for inflation, which is forecast to range from 4% to 5%, the productive part of the budget is expected to decline by 2.1% to 3.1%.

Read more at Business World

“Businessmen to government: be consistent” by Max V. De Leon

THE government needs to come up with clear protection from regulatory, legislative and judicial risks for long-term investors, as well as immediately resolve previous build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects that went wrong, to be able to persuade the international investment community to participate in the administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) made this clear in a forum organized by the Board of Investments (BOI) on Tuesday for the diplomatic community and foreign chambers on the PPP program.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Cristino L. Panlilio assured the investors that Malacañang’s economic team is working on the measures to protect investors from these risks and uncertainties.

Read more at Business Mirror

Cabinet changes due next weekby Jocelyn Montemayor

PRESIDENT Aquino yesterday said he will announce changes in the Cabinet by next week.

The President, in an ambush interview at the medical-dental mission sponsored by the Office of the President at the Chino Roces Bridge to mark his 51st birthday, declined to give details on who will be affected.

“Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr will be in the better position to tell you the exact date,” he said.

Read more at Malaya

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