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

Monday, March 16, 2009

March 17, 2009 Major News Stories

Keppel Cebu workers file strike notice

Workers of the Keppel Cebu Shipyard Inc. on Mactan Island in Cebu filed a notice of strike Monday afternoon after their employers announced in the morning that it would push through with a redundancy program.

Remittance growth drops to 0.1% in Jan

The pace of remittances growth has almost grounded to a halt in January when total money sent home by Filipinos working overseas grew by only 0.1 percent, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.

OFWs told to renew PhilHealth coverage

SSS benefits for unemployed pushed 

The government should take the pressure off displaced workers by providing unemployment or involuntary separation benefits through the Social Security System (SSS), a lawmaker at the House of Representatives said Monday.

Govt to implement multi-purpose ID 

The government is set to release the first batch of the multi-purpose identification card, which will contain all pertinent information of a citizen.  The Social Security System and the National Statistics Office on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday, which will pave the way for the implementation of the P3-billion Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) System.

SSS president and CEO Romulo Neri told reporters that the first phase of the UMID is the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), which will cost P650 million and will be funded by the National Statistics Office.

The first batch, to be released in August this year, will be for the 10 million SSS members.

The second part is the card production, which costs about P100 to P150 each. The card will include information about the user's details such as SSS number, tax identification number, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) number, voter's number and all other information about a user given to government agencies.

He added that Philhealth, which has members of between 40 million to 50 million, will also distribute the card.  Bidding for the project will be held next month.

4M names de-listed from voters' list 

Commission on Elections Chairman Jose Melo urged voters on Monday to verify their registration status to determine if they were among the four million who were de-listed recently.

SEC chair's hubby had car deal w/ Legacy

For claiming that she has no history of misdemeanor during her 53 years in public service, SEC chairperson Fe Barin is being taunted by her critics who have unearthed a paper trail that involves a deal between her husband and one of the companies she regulates.

Extension of lamppost probe eyed

JBC has 4 nominees for SC vacancy

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Monday submitted to President Arroyo the shortlist of nominees vying for a seat at the Supreme Court to replace retired Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna.  Included in the JBC list were Court of Appeals Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, who got 8 votes; CA Associate Justice Martin Villarama, seven votes; CA Associate Justice Hakim Abdulwahid, 5 votes; and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Francis Villaruz, also with 5 votes.

Erap son dares Glo to sign bank waivers

San Juan City mayor Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito on Monday dared President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her family to sign a bank waiver allowing scrutiny of their assets.

'Unappreciated' GMA scores -32%

Malacañang lamented that President Arroyo was widely unappreciated by the public despite her efforts to keep the economy afloat amid the ongoing global financial crisis.

50 million voters seen by 2010 elections

Aid workers' captor may have been shot

The leader of a faction of the Abu Sayyaf group who claimed to be holding hostage three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sulu may have been killed or wounded during a clash with government troops on Monday, a military official said.

2 killed, 3 wounded in Jolo grenade attack

Ping ordered Aquino to dig dirt vs Mike A

Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson ordered a former police official linked to the killing of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer to gather dirt against First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, according to former Senior Superintendent Cezar Mancao II.

Lacson: Make public Mancao's affidavit

Senator Panfilo Lacson has called on authorities to make the affidavit of his former aide public to once and for all stop speculations that he had a hand in the murders of a publicist and his driver.

Gonzalez clears Erap from Dacer case

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has cleared former President Joseph Estrada of any involvement in the abduction and killing of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

NUJP slams assault on ABS-CBN team

PNP denies P800M 'bodyguard' budget

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday denied a newspaper report which claimed more than P800 million is spent annually for the salaries of policemen detailed as bodyguards of government officials and private citizens.

85 LGUs probed for 'pass-through' fees

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is investigating 85 local government units for allegedly collecting illegal "pass through" fees from cargo trucks, in violation of the Local Government Code, Secretary Ronaldo Puno said Monday.  Puno failed to identify the LGUs, but said that of the 85, 39 were municipalities, 21 cities, 10 barangay (villages), and 15 provinces.

Senate to pass CARP extension bill - Kiko

The Senate on Monday assured the immediate passage of the bill extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program for another five years.

'No move yet to counter Chinese Navy'

The Western Command (Wescom) is not making any move so far to counter the reported presence of the Chinese Navy in the Spratlys and has received "no special order" from the defense department or the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

RP embassy in Tokyo to help Filipino teen

The Philippine embassy in Tokyo will help Noriko Calderon, the 13-year-old Filipino daughter of illegal immigrants whose parents have decided to leave her behind when they are deported back to the Philippines.

Laid off Pinoy cook arrested for Dubai theft

A Filipino cook was arrested in the United Arab Emirates for pocketing about P286,000 from his former employer using duplicate keys.

CCCI wants province to delay tax increases

Austrian Fritzl pleads guilty to incest, rape

Josef Fritzl admitted imprisoning his daughter in an underground bunker for 24 years and forcing her to bear seven children as his trial started Monday.

Solar still the TV partner of Pacquiao 

Solar Entertainment Corp. on Monday reiterated that it remains the partner of Manny Pacquiao as far as coverage of his fights go, denying a newspaper report which claimed that boxing"s pound for pound kingpin is severing ties with the company.

Roach: Khan among Pacman's sparmates 

Trainer Freddie Roach would like to bring triumphant British fighter Amir Khan with him to the Wild Card Gym in LA to help train Manny Pacquiao against Ricky Hatton.

Khan: Pacquiao's tips beat Barrera

In a way, Manny Pacquiao was also instrumental in helping sparring partner Amir Khan beat fading Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera last Saturday in Manchester (Sunday in Manila).

CVIRAA: Dumaguete bids for 2010 Palaro

Fund woes hound RP martial arts team

The Philippines will send a lean team of 42 athletes and 20 officials to the 1st Asian Martial Arts Games in Bangkok - a number likely to dwindle some more due to funding woes that continue to hound the delegation.

Tomas says DSWD might help 'giant'

Arroyo urged: Enact lower amusement tax 

President Arroyo has been urged to immediately sign into law a bill that would reduce the amusement tax paid to local government units from 30% to 10% to encourage the production of more films in the country.

Rosanna Roces nailed to cross

Super lotto jackpot reaches P70 million

The jackpot prize for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/49 Super Lotto game is expected to reach P70 million by tonight's draw after nobody got the winning combination in the past several weeks, a top PCSO official said earlier today.

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