Philippine economy

February 5, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Meralco asks SC to lift injunction on rate hike

    The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday, February 4, to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) on a power rate increase it was supposed to implement in December. The power distributor also questioned whether the SC was the appropriate body to arbitrate on the power rate hike issue. Meralco was set to increase the power rate to P4.15 per kw/hr in December, the highest in history. It claimed it was forced to purchase power at a higher price from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). But petitioners asked the SC to issue a TRO on the price hike, alleging collusion between the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the power suppliers. Merlaco’s lawyers said that the petitioners should raise their concerns with the appropriate regulatory agency or Congress, and not the SC.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Senate, House, and Customs rate poorly in anti-corruption survey

    The Senate, the House of Representatives, the Land Transportation Office and the Bureau of Customs are the least sincere in fighting corruption, according to the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS). In its 2013 Enterprise Survey on Corruption, the 4 government agencies suffered the biggest downgrades in their sincerity ratings in fighting corruption between 2012 and 2013. The study, which surveyed executives of 951 enterprises across the country, showed that the Senate suffered the biggest downgrade, from +36 or good, to -8 or neutral. The House of Representatives also went from -6 or neutral to -28 or poor, while the LTO went from -26 or poor in 2012, to -32 or bad in 2013. The Customs bureau remained the worst perceived agency in the fight against corruption. Guillermo M, Luz, Co-Chairman of the National Competitiveness Council, said the data should be used by these agencies to help institute reforms. “The Senate, House and Customs need a lot of soul searching,” he said on Tuesday, February 3, at the NCC-sponsored dialogue with businessmen.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Rwanda genocide trial opens in France

    The landmark trial of a former Rwandan army captain charged with complicity in the genocide that left 800,000 dead opened Tuesday in Paris, the first of its kind in France. Simbikangwa is accused of inciting, organizing and aiding massacres during the genocide, particularly by supplying arms and instructions to militia who were manning road blocks and killing Tutsi men, women and children. He denies all the charges against him. He is being held in France on trial based on a French law that permits courts to consider cases of genocide or crimes against humanity committed in other countries. Rwandan Justice Minister Johnston Busingye welcomed the opening of the trial said it is history being made.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Microsoft names new CEO

    Image courtesy Microsoft

    Microsoft on Tuesday announced the promotion of Satya Nadella as its new chief executive officer, who takes over the reigns of retiree Steve Ballmer. The Indian-born Nadella was formerly the executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise group. The tech giant also announced that founder Bill Gates would step down as chairman to become a technology adviser. Taking his place is John Thompson, a lead independent director. Microsoft has slowly lost ground in the industry as consumers move away from traditional PC devices to mobile devices. Nadella is a native of Hyderabad, India and earned degrees from Mangalore University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago.

    Read the full story on Rappler:

  5. Queen Elizabeth II to meet Pope Francis in April

    File photo by Arthur Edwards/AFP

    Queen Elizabeth II will meet Pope Francis for the first time when she visits Rome, Italy in April as a guest of the Italian president, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday, February 4. The queen and her husband Prince Philip will have an audience with the pope after attending a lunch hosted by the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, during the one-day visit on April 3. It will be the first time for the British monarch to meet the Roman Catholic leader since his election in March 2013.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Cool weather returns to north Luzon

    People in northern Luzon can expect cooler weather on Wednesday, February 5, according to state weather bureau PAGASA as the northeast monsoon brings cooler winds to the country. Known as the ‘amihan’, the northeast monsoon will bring cloudy skies with light rain over Batanes, Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte. The rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies.

    Get the full weather forecast on Rappler.

  7. Chot Reyes: ‘FIBA B is a tough group’

    Screengrab from FIBA's YouTube interview

    Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes acknowledged the tough task he and the national men’s basketball squad have ahead of them in the FIBA World Cup in August. In an interview posted on the official FIBA YouTube page, Reyes said that Group B is not an easy group to be in. The Philippines will be playing against  5 other teams in Argentina, Croatia, Senegal, Greece and Puerto Rico. The country avoided the groups where world powerhouses USA (Group C) and Spain (Group A) are in. Reyes said on Twitter that he would have preferred to be in Group C where Ukraine and Finland are in, and where the Philippines would have a better advantage. The national team is set to convene for its first practice on the first Monday of March and will train once every week from then on until the end of the current Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season in mid-July.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. US asks Japan, S. Korea, and China to work together

    Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

    The United States called Tuesday, February 4, for Japan, South Korea and China to find ways to work together, saying it was in the interest of all three to overcome historical animosity. Danny Russel, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said he held “candid” talks on growing tensions during recent stops in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo. “Frankly, we look to each of our friends and partners in the Asia-Pacific region to make a contribution to good relations and to good neighborliness,” he said. Russel said that Japan and South Korea, both US allies and democracies, had shared values that should “serve as the foundation for long-term trust.” He said that China and Japan, as Asia’s two largest economies, “can and must work together” in the interests of their citizens.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. House bill seeks to end hunger in ten years

     Photo courtesy of Barry Gutierrez's Facebook Page

    Is achieving zero hunger in the Philippines in 10 years achievable? A bill filled by 4 congressmen aims to make it so. On Feb 3, 2014 Akbayan Representatives Barry Gutierrez and Walden Bello, together with Dinagat Representative Kaka Bag-ao and Quezon City District 6 Representative Kit Belmonte filled House Bill 3795, also known as the Right to Adequate Food Framework Act of 2014. The bill seeks to establish a comprehensive framework to ensure the right of every Filipino to access adequate food at all times. In the Philippines, about 15.6 million people are suffering from hunger and undernourishment, that is 16.2% of the population according to the 2013 report on The State of Food Security Around the World by the United Nation Food and Agricultural Organization (UN FAO). With its enactment, The Right to Adequate Food Framework Act of 2014 mandates the government to establish a clear set of policies to end hunger in 10 years.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Facebook lets users take a “Look Back”

    To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Facebook is giving users a look back at highlights of their life on the popular social networking site. Facebook’s look back page contains a video customized for each individual user and is signed “Mark and the Facebook Team.” The video tells you when you joined Facebook, shows you some of your first posts, your most liked moments and some of the photos you have shared.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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