The latest news stories from the major news organizations in Cebu and Manila in the Philippines, the US and other countries.

Monday, February 2, 2009

February 3, 2009 Major News Stories

Chevron, Shell, Seaoil to adjust prices

Major oil players Chevron Philippines and Pilipinas Shell, as well as independent firm Seaoil Philippines, announced their latest price adjustments in their diesel, kerosene, and gasoline.  Chevron and Seaoil would reduce their diesel prices by P0.50 per liter while their kerosene prices would be slashed by P1 per liter.  Shell would also implement the same adjustments on the two petroleum products.  The three oil companies said the price adjustments would be effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.  Despite the price cutbacks, Shell, Chevron, and Seaoil would still hike gasoline prices by P0.50 per liter.  Petron would increase their gasoline price by P0.50 per liter.  The company however would slash the prices of their diesel by P0.50 per liter and kerosene by P1 per liter.  The adjustments would take effect 6 a.m. Tuesday, February 3.

Palace to take up fuel prices in cabinet 

LPG players want industry regulated

Local oil players are urging government to impose stricter policies and regulations on the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry, noting that the deregulation of the sector had contributed to the "abnormalities in the market."

NBI doubles watch vs LPG hoarders 

Oil below $41 as US workers may strike

Traders on Monday ignored the bullish effect of strike threats from U.S. oil workers, sending crude prices below $41 over continued concerns about the world's economy.

800,000 workers 'vulnerable' to job loss

Some 800,000 Filipinos are "vulnerable" to job loss this year due to the world financial crisis, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said on Monday.

1.7M Filipinos to lose jobs this year - Recto

Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto on Monday said around 1.7 million Filipinos are likely to lose their jobs this year but only 500,000 jobs are expected to be created.

236 workers laid off in Southern Mindanao

At least 236 workers here in Southern Mindanao were laid off from work as a result of the financial crisis now plaguing certain parts of the world.

Workers told to go on leave

Remittances may be lower than expected 

Cash sent home by Filipinos working overseas would be more severely hit by the global economic downturn than earlier anticipated, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas conceded on Monday.

OFWs shun alternative livelihood program

Neri warned vs using SSS money 

Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. on Monday warned Social Security System (SSS) President Romulo Neri he could be charged with malversation if the SSS contributes money to the 300-billion peso economic stimulus fund proposed by Malacanang.

Palace: Give pensioners more benefits

Malacañang is urging state pension funds and health insurance and housing loan providers to increase benefits for their members to spur consumption and keep the economy going despite the world financial crisis.

Filipinos trade bulbs for fluorescent globes

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $31.1 million loan to help households in the Philippines cut power bills by trading incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient fluorescent globes.

Arroyo announces more revamps 

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has implemented another round of Cabinet reshuffle.  he President has appointed retired National Police chief Police Director Arturo Lomibao as chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) replacing Alberto Suansing.  Suansing will replace Thompson Lantion as secretary of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).  Lantion was appointed undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication, while Reynaldo Berroya was assigned as head of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Corporation.

House OKs bills on 7th district, Guadalupe 

Comelec resumes registration of OFWs

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has resumed Sunday the continuing registration of overseas voters, with the poll body hoping to reach out to some one million Filipino voters abroad.

Comelec bares poll automation plans

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) plans to use the supplemental budget to lease precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, a poll official said as he explained the plan for the local and national elections in 2010.

Comelec: Res'n from posts of 2010 unlikely

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) described as "impossible" suggestions of an administration lawyer to revive the law mandating the resignation of elected officials seeking the presidential post.  Comelec chairman Jose Melo said that the 1987 Constitution would have to be amended first before Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code could be revived.

NUJP axed chair for alleged ethics violation

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) officially announced that it ousted its chairman Jose Torres Jr. last November for alleged violations of The Journalist's Code of Ethics.  "Torres had personally solicited money from a source for his personal use," the NUJP said.

WB exec defends ban on 3 RP firms

The highest ranking World Bank official in the Philippines defended on Monday the bank's decision to ban three Filipino firms, saying due process was followed in its investigation of alleged corporate collusion to rig the bidding for a $33-million road project.

NBI help sought in unmasking politicians 

Senator Miriam Defensor said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) should help in identifying politicians and other officials mentioned in the World Bank report as facilitators of collusion in rigged biddings.

PDIC to pay legacy depositors next week

The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) will start settling the claims of about 130,000 depositors of the failed Legacy Group next week.

SEC asked: Freeze Legacy owner's assets

Senator Manuel Roxas has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to freeze corporate and personal assets of Celso de los Angeles, owner of Legacy Consolidated Plans Inc., so the failed pre-need company can pay its obligations to plan holders and investors.

BSP: More charges v. Legacy, Angeles

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas dared Celso delos Angeles, owner of failed Legacy Group and now a town mayor in Albay province, to identify people from the regulator whom he accused of extorting money from him.

Legacy owner admits selling P57M property 

The owner of Legacy Consolidated Plans sold his P57-million worth of property in Ayala Alabang a week before he declared his company's bankruptcy.

Lawmakers blame SEC for pre-need woes

Senators blamed the Securities and Exchange Commission for the sorry state of the pre-need companies in the country, saying the commission committed "willful negligence and incompetence."

Resign, CHEd chief told

Youth groups are demanding the resignation of the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) for being "profit-oriented" following his proposal for an extra year in college to improve the quality of education in that level.

Guidelines on students' drug tests out

The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has released "clarificatory guidelines" on random drug tests to "allay public apprehension and clear alleged human rights violations" over tests the government will conduct in schools across the country, DDB chairman Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said on Monday.

Bill exempting poor from paying bail OK"d

ASG admits it has 3 ICRC workers in Sulu

Chinese businessman abducted in Sulu 

A Chinese businessman was abducted Monday afternoon by still unidentified suspects in southern Philippines, a police official said.

NPA ambush kills 3 policemen in Davao 

Three policemen, including a municipal police chief, were killed Monday afternoon in an ambush staged by suspected communist rebels in southern Philippines.

CHR: Solve vigilante-style killings

Govt urges evacuees to go home

The government said Monday it was safe for thousands of evacuees in the south to return home now that fighting between Muslims separatists and troops had abated.

January coco oil exports fell nearly 80%

Obama: US troops in Iraq home this year

US President Barack Obama said a substantial number of the 140,000 US troops in Iraq would be home within a year, saying Iraqis were now ready to take more responsibility for their own security.

Protestor throws shoe at China PM in UK

'Wowowee' sponsors 30 Dubai OFWs

After the resounding success of the Wowowee concert in Dubai, the Philippines' most popular noontime TV show continues to help less fortunate kababayans after agreeing to pay for the return tickets of 30 overseas Filipino workers who ran away from their employers in Dubai.

KC misses UN event due to illness

Actress-model KC Concepcion, the country's National Ambassador against Hunger, was not able to grace the UN World Programme turnover event due to illness.

Korina vindicated

Cager lends car to pal, reports it as stolen

Samuel Goldwyn  - "I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it."

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