THE GOVERNMENT will need about P11 billion to fund another bonus -- called productivity enhancement incentive (PEI) -- for state workers approved by President Benigno S. C. Aquino III last week, the Budget secretary said.
Administrative Order (AO) 3 signed by Mr. Aquino last Nov. 25 and released to media at the weekend directed the P10,000 bonus for each employee on top of the P5,000 cash incentive granted earlier.
Mr. Aquino cited prudence and an upbeat economy that allowed the government to grant the PEI.
Asked of the overall amount that would be released to fund the bonus, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a text message: "[It] depends on how much the President will grant, but assuming P10,000 for 1.116 million government work force, that [is] around P11.16 billion. I have asked my staff to work on the guidelines of the AO. We'll issue it this week."
According to the AO, the PEI shall be given not earlier than Dec. 15.
Employees in the Executive branch, including those in government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs), are authorized to be granted a one-time maximum amount of P10,000.
Employees in the Executive branch that are covered by the AO are those hired on a permanent, temporary, casual or contractual status, still in service as of Nov. 30, and have rendered at least four months of services as of the same date.
Those who have rendered less than four months of service as of Nov. 30, 2010 shall be entitled to the PEI on pro-rated basis as follows: 40% for three months but less than four months; 30% for two months but less than three months; 20% for one month but less than two months; and 10% for less than one month.
Further, workers should not receive any additional yearend benefit for this year over and above the benefit authorized by Republic Act 8441 which grants a P5,000 cash gift released earlier by the Budget department.
For employees in national government agencies, savings under the General Appropriations Act which shall be pooled and released by the Budget department will fund the P7,000 PEI.
The remaining P3,000 will come from savings in the respective agency allotments. If insufficient to cover the P3,000, a partial grant shall be made at uniform rate for all qualified employees.
For GOCCs and GFIs, the amount shall be charged against savings from approved corporate operating budgets for 2010.
Employees in the Senate, House of Representatives, Judiciary, Office of the Ombudsman and constitutional offices with fiscal autonomy may also be granted PEI by their respective heads of office at rates not exceeding P10,000 and charged against available savings.
As for employees in the local government units including the barangay government, the grant of PEI shall be determined by the council depending on the local government unit's financial capability, and will come from locally generated funds.
MANILA, Philippines - Saying there is a need to further review the law, Vice President and presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers' concerns Jejomar Binay has urged lawmakers to suspend the mandatory insurance coverage for agency-hired migrant workers.
MANILA, Philippines—At least 124 units of donated blood were found HIV positive in the 10 months to October this year, a member of Congress disclosed over the weekend.
Citing a Department of Health report, LPGMA (Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers' Association) Party-list Representative Arnel Ty said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine confirmed that the donated blood units were HIV positive.
In a news release, Ty said the report was based on information from the National Voluntary Blood Safety Program, which monitors the purity of donated blood.
The tainted blood units did not necessarily come from 124 donors since one contributor can give more than one unit, according to Ty.
Ty joined other members of Congress in welcoming Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks endorsing the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS.
"We expect the Pope's sentiment to figure prominently in House deliberations on the reproductive health bill," he said.
Ty said the discovery of the contaminated blood units did not pose any threat to public health, as these were filtered out precisely due to existing safeguards.
"Nonetheless, the increasing number of diseased blood units found betrays the menacing spread of HIV in the country," he said.
Ty said the 124 donated blood units found HIV positive from January to October already surpassed the 89 similarly infected units detected in the 12 months of 2009. In the whole of 2008, he said 74 donated blood units were found HIV positive, more than double the 30 similarly contaminated units retrieved in 2007.
Ty said the National HIV & AIDS Registry "has made it very clear that donors of the HIV positive blood units may or may not be in its record."
The registry lists a total of 5,729 diagnosed cases as of end October, although the actual number is believed to be much higher.
Ty pointed out that HIV surveillance system remains passive because compulsory testing is unlawful under the 1998 AIDS Prevention and Control Act.
Section 16 of the law states: "Compulsory HIV testing as a precondition to employment, admission to educational institution, the exercise of freedom of abode, entry or continued stay in the country or the right to travel, the provision of medical service or any other kind of service or the continued enjoyment of said undertaking shall be deemed unlawful."
The law fully protects the human rights and civil liberties of persons suspected or known to be infected with HIV.
Ty said diseased blood units are nonetheless getting detected because under the law, legal consent to HIV testing is considered having been given when a person volunteers or freely agrees to donate blood, organ, or tissue for transfusion, transplantation, or research.
CEBU CITY – Health officials advised residents of affected barangays in Danao City to boil their drinking water, while authorities try to confirm what caused at least 90 diarrhea cases in the last five days.
At first, the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas asked the community to stop using water from a specific tank with a broken chlorinator. But Rennan Cimafranca of the Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (RESU) said they reconsidered and instead advised households to boil their water.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said Cebu City South district Rep. Tomas Osmeña's stand on Cebu City Ordinance 1837, which bans intra-city jeepneys from the city's major thoroughfares, is "defeating the spirit of the ordinance" because during Osmeña's time as mayor there were many PUJs impounded due to this.
Missionaries of the Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ asked the Cebu City Council (PMCC) to exempt them from some provisions of the city's Anti-Mendicancy Ordinance after they were allegedly prohibited recently from taking gifts from people and from teaching the Gospel.
THE Supreme Court (SC) suspended for six months and a day one Cebu City court sheriff for implementing three years ago a writ of execution that demolished a house, without getting the required writ of demolition.
The SC Second Division said the failure of Constancio V. Alimurung, sheriff IV of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 18, to comply with Section 10 of the Rules of Court constitutes abuse of authority.
WA na makaabot sa buwan sa Pasko ang tulo ka manag-agawng' menor de edad nga nangalumos sa ilang paglangoy aron mangisda sa Sitio Abayan River Dam sa Barangay General Climaco, dakbayan sa Toledo niadtong Sabado sa alas 8:00 sa buntag.
Ang mga biktima giila sa kapulisan nga sila si Jonathan Egloria, 16; Jerick Egloria Camos, 15; Ronnie Egloria Montomo, 13, pulos mga lumolupyo sa nahisgutang barangay. Nangamatay human sa tulo ka oras nga pag-rescue sa mga silingan.
"Malacañang is still the biggest gambler up to now." This was how known anti-gambling advocate Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz twitted the move of President Aquino, to take over direct control and supervision of the lucrative Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) from the Department of Health.
CANDABA -- Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, during a recent visit here, said that there is a need to amend the Local Government Code to provide additional protection and benefits to elected barangay officials nationwide.
Outgoing Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines (BCLP) President Manuel Guanzon said that the P3-million aid of the Cebu City Government to the league has been liquidated even before the council asked them to do so.
Environmental lawyer Gloria Estenzo-Ramos said all barangay captains in Cebu City have only until March of next year to implement the Solid Waste Management in their respective barangays under the Republic Act 9003, otherwise known as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
The creation of a special court to handle the gruesome killing of 58 people in Maguindanao in 2009 might further delay the victims' families' fight for justice, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Sunday.
MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has given the respondents in the Maguindanao massacre case the opportunity to debunk a petition seeking a live broadcast of the proceedings at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.
GIPUSIL sa duha ka wa mailhing tawo ang bise mayor sa Barira, Shariff Kabunsuan, Manguindanao province sa alas 10:45 sa buntag kagahapon didto sa Hilldrive Subdivision, Bajada, siyudad sa Davao.
Si Vice Mayor Alexander Tomawis, hamtong ang pangidaron, minyo, daling gidala sa Davao Doctors Hospital human siya gipusil atubangan sa iyang gipuy-an nga Capri Apartment nga nahimutang sa Hilldrive Subdivision.
MANILA, Philippines - A soldier who was snatched by communist rebels during the observance of the Eid'l Adha, the feast of the Holy Sacrifice by Muslims, was released by his captors in Compostela Valley province after 12 days in captivity.
Doctors at the Sanitarium Hospital in Valencia City in Bukidnon have declared broadcaster Randy Makiputin out of danger despite an injury at the back of his head, which he sustained when he was ambushed Friday night.
After claiming that the proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) law may endanger government operations, Malacañang on Saturday cited the Constitution as another reason for President Aquino's decision not to certify the bill as urgent.
Citing a member of the family who had sought assistance, a Filipino migrants rights group today said an Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who had been charged allegedly for drug trafficking after being apprehended by Saudi authorities had been found dead inside a Saudi jail.
The Philippines and China have agreed to increase flights from the two countries to bring in more tourists from both sides, a signal of warming relations between the two Asian nations following the friction caused by the August 23 hostage-taking incident in Manila that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.
BEIJING—China on Sunday proposed emergency discussions among delegates to the six-party talks to discuss "complicated factors" on the Korean peninsula, as the U.S. and South Korea started a naval drill that has prompted dire warnings of reprisals from North Korea.
The move comes as Beijing engages in high-level diplomacy to try to cool tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul. China's special representative for Korean-peninsula affairs, Wu Dawei, proposed consultations in early December between the heads of the delegations to the stalled nuclear talks, which involve China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and Russia.
TOKYO—The governor of the Japanese island of Okinawa was reelected Sunday and immediately called for the removal of a controversial US military base which has strained ties between Tokyo and Washington.
ANKARA—Pirates boarded a Turkish freighter in the Indian Ocean but abandoned the vessel after not being able to locate its crew who had hidden in a secret place, authorities said in a news report Sunday.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The ballot is as crowded as the earthquake-ravaged capital itself, and a collapsed presidential palace is the prize. The voter rolls are filled with the dead, and living citizens are still struggling to figure out if and where they can vote while worrying about political violence and a spreading cholera epidemic. It's Election Sunday in post-quake Haiti.
Las Vegas, USA - Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez recovered from a third-round knockdown to stop Australian Michael Katsidis in the ninth and retain his WBA and WBO lightweight titles in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
MANILA, Philippines — After beating Australian Michael Katsidis on Saturday, Mexican boxing champion Juan Manuel Marquez said he has become more keyed up for a possible third bout with Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao.
GUANGZHOU – In the glare of tens of thousands of fireworks, athletes from 45 countries hugged each other and partied into the night as China's third largest city on the southern border waved goodbye last night in another great chapter of the Asian Games.
Barangay Ginebra survived a barrage of three-pointers from Derby Ace down the stretch to pull off an 89-86 win and stopped on track the hottest team in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Big Dome.
Sol Mercado chose to sit out Rain or Shine's game against Alaska Sunday, opting instead to heal his hurting left foot. But even while sitting on the bench, he gave a piece of his mind on how to beat the Aces.
Josh Smith had his third career triple-double, Marvin Williams added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Toronto Raptors 96-78 Sunday. Smith finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the Hawks won their third straight game after losing seven of the previous nine. Joe Johnson and Al Horford scored 16 points apiece and Jamal Crawford had 10.
While Dirk Nowitzki drove for a layup during Dallas' game-turning run to start the second half, he split a gap between Dwyane Wade and LeBron James -- with all three of All-Stars in the air at the same time -- to get to the basket. Even with Wade's new help in Miami, the Heat still can't beat the Mavericks in the regular season.