Aquino orders release of P330M for R&D
Written by : JAIME PILAPIL
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd has ordered the release of P300 million to bolster research and development (R&D) support for the semiconductor and electronics industry, an established driver of economic growth.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over weekend said that the fund will be used by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to establish an Advanced Failure Analysis Laboratory that manufacturers here could use to test their products.
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By JUN RAMIREZ
MANILA, Philippines — Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) pledged Tuesday to continue pursuing his anti-corruption campaign in the agency even as he urged Congress to rush the passage of a new Philippine immigration act.
In his first remarks to the BI rank-and-file for the year, David said “we aim to intensify our battle against corruption and other graft practices through programs that aim for an honest and excellent public service.”
He added that the BI will continue to strictly adhere to the provisions of the anti-red tape act by expediting the processing of visa applications and other immigration documents.
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Faith overcomes fear
Written by : Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz and Jaime Pilapil
Millions turn out for Nazarene procession despite terror warning
Despite President Benigno Aquino 3rd warning of a possible terror attack on the feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday, millions of Roman Catholic devotees flooded Manila’s Quiapo district
to join a procession in honor of the ebony Jesus in another evidently unshakeable display of faith overcoming fear in Asia’s only predominantly Christian country.
Fearing that supposed terrorists might use mobile phones as triggering device in their bombing activities, Malacañang also on Monday confirmed that it had ordered telecommunication firms to temporarily disconnect their services in areas where the Black Nazarene procession was to pass through.
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Quiapo Spartans shield churchgoers from harm
By LESLIE ANN G. AQUINO
MANILA, Philippines — They are known as the “Spartans” of Quiapo church.
These 200 men wearing maroon or yellow shirts have a key role in keeping the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene orderly and accident-free.
Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, the rector of Quiapo church, said the Spartans form a human barricade around the church’s altar area to “cushion” the people inside the church as well as the mamamasan (the men who accompany the carriage of the Nazarene) from the sea of devotees that join the procession.
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Malacañang says internal investigation set for culpability of local officials of Compostela Valley on recent tragedy
Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office(PCOO)
An internal investigation will be conducted to look into the culpability of local officials of Compostela Valley on the latest landslide in the area that killed over 30 people last January 5, a Palace official said on Monday.
“I believe the governor (Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy) has already called for an internal investigation and Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo also mentioned that we will be looking into the accountability of the local government officials,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.
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Makati makes it easy for residents to pay their taxes
By ANNA LIZA VILLAS
MANILA, Philippines — To encourage its constituents to pay their taxes on time, the Makati City government announced that it will accommodate business owners and real property taxpayers beyond regular working hours and on weekends.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay Jr. said the extended operation of the Business Permits Office and the Real Property Tax Division will be until January 20 while 14 satellite payment centers in the barangays will also be opened on scheduled dates to accept realty tax payments.
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DBM disburses 96% of DAP
By CHINO S. LEYCO
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said that P69.3 billion of the P72.11 billion Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP) has been released to agencies and government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) as of end-December 2011.
Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said that of the total amount, P53.8 billion was already disbursed by agencies and GOCCs beginning October 12, when the President approved the DAP.
“We released about P8 billion from December 6 to 29 alone to agencies and GOCCs to ramp up spending. The DAP contributed immensely to the government’s increased spending in the last months of the year, allowing agencies to quickly implement programs and projects aligned with the Aquino Social Contract to the Filipino People,” Abad said.
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SSS eyeing hike in contributions this year
Written by : KATRINA MENNEN A. VALDEZ
STATE-RUN Social Security System (SSS) is eyeing to get Malacañang’s approval for its proposed contribution hike within the first half of the year.
Emilio de Quiros Jr., SSS president and chief executive officer, told reporters on Monday that an increase in contribution of the employee’s monthly salary to 11 percent from 10.4 percent would likely take place within the first semester.
“The entire SSS board is pushing for it [increase in contribution]. We are now more optimistic to get the employers’ approval to raise the contribution rate,” de Quiros said.
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Yes to SMC’s PAL buy-in
By ANDREW JAMES MASIGAN
MANILA, Philippines — Asia’s largest food and beverage conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation (SMC), announced that it is seriously looking into acquiring a majority stake of Philippine Airlines (PAL). The buy-in paves the way for a massive infusion of capital to fund the flag carrier’s fleet and systems modernization.
This is great news, especially for all of us rooting for the national airline. PAL has always been a symbol of the nation’s modernity, sophistication and efficiency; and nothing would make me prouder than to see our airline transform itself into an honest-to-goodness force in the aviation industry. In many ways, the national airline is a reflection of the nation and its aspirations, much like Singapore Airlines is to the city state or Emirates to the UAE. Through PAL, I would like the world to know that the Philippines is an up-and-coming force to reckon with.
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Who Will be Helped by OBAMA’s Change to the Immigration Law?
By Atty. Robert J. DuPont
Who Will be Helped by OBAMA’s Change to the Immigration Law?
Many of my clients have contacted me concerning the proposed changes in regulations announced by President Obama. Following his announcement the Director of USCIS Ms. Janet Napolitano issued a “Notice of Intent” describing the proposed changes to regulations which could provide relief to thousands of persons who entered “illegally” or without inspection and could now file an application for legal permanent resident status through a U.S. Citizen and obtain a waiver to the 3 or 10 year bar to re-entry before the process their visa overseas.
This will greatly reduce the risk of being stranded in your home country while the Embassy and USCIS send a waiver application back and forth to each other. It also eliminates the risk of being stranded in your home country when USCIS will not approve the waiver of the 3 or 10 year bar to re-entry.
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De La Hoya urges Pacquiao to demand Mayweather fight
Written by : Jun Medina
Oscar De La Hoya, boxing’s former “Golden Boy,” is urging Manny Pacquiao to demand from his promoter Bob Arum a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the best way to make what could be the most lucrative fight in boxing history as early as May.
“Back when I had a promoter I would say who I wanted to fight,” De La Hoya said in his twitter account Sunday.
De La Hoya, founder and president of Golden Boy Promotions, minced no word and blamed Arum for blocking Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, the fight that boxing fans are clamoring for.
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Beauty is her business
Written by : KIM BERNARDO-LOKIN
FOR someone who once considered herself an “ugly duckling,” the path to beauty seemed to be a long and arduous one. But it was the only path Victoria Belo was determined to take.
Today, she is not just one of the country’s most famous beauty doctors. Dr. Vicki Belo, M.D., medical director of the Belo Medical Group, had truly transformed the industry and the way people approach the concept of beauty.
She would be the first to admit that the challenges she faced were at times extreme, but the thousands of people who troop to her numerous Belo Medical Clinics in the Philippines and in the US is a testament to how she had succeeded in “changing the game.”
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