August 8, 2014 Edition

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

  1. Bishops urge voters to push for law banning discretionary funds

    File photo by Noli Yamsuan/Archdiocese of Manila

    The association of Catholic bishops in the Philippines has declared its support for a people’s initiative that will file a proposed law that will prevent the appropriation of pork barrel and other forms of discretionary and lump sum funds for lawmakers and the executive branch. The people’s initiative is a mechanism in the Constitution that allows registered voters to initiate a bill – especially when legislators wouldn’t sponsor them – provided they meet a minimum number of signatures per district and nationwide. The Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional the fund that used to be automatically allotted per senator and congressman for pet projects, as well as a spending program of the presidential palace that juggled funds without Congress’ approval. The proposed national budget for 2015  showed some P500 billion in lump sum and special allocations have been placed under the discretion of the President.

    Read the full story here.

  2. President Aquino’s party bets on Mar Roxas – for now

    Photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

    Despite his dismal performance in voters’ preference surveys and insinuations that the sisters of President Benigno Aquino III are inclined to endorse the Vice President for the highest post in 2016, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II remains the only choice of the Liberal Party as standard bearer. At least for now. This was announced by Senate President Franklin Drilon, an LP stalwart, in a live interview on Rappler’s #TalkThursday. “[We still have] two years to go. There’s still a lot of things that can happen. Yes, right now, he’s lagging behind but let’s see what happens in the next few months,” he said, denying that the party is looking at two popular female officials to field against Vice President Jejomar Binay. Drilon in 2009 was the one who also insisted that Roxas would be the LP presidential bet but then joined those who “clamored” for Benigno Aquino III to run in 2010. Roxas had to give way.

    Read the full story here.

  3. Obama approves US air strikes to halt genocide in Iraq

    American warplanes are back into Iraqi skies, dropping food and water to refugees and authorized to launch air strikes against extremist fighters from the so-called Islamic State. “We can act, carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide. I therefore authorized targeted air strikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege and protect the civilians trapped there,” Obama said. Iraqi religious leaders say Islamic State militants have forced 100,000 Iraqi Christians to flee and have occupied churches, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts.

    Read the full story here.

  4. Life imprisonment ordered for Khmer Rouge leaders

    A United Nations-backed court in Cambodia sentenced to a life in jail the 2 most senior surviving members of the Khmer Rouge, the communist guerrilla organization that took power in 1975 and killed 2 million citizens in its quest to create a communist agrarian utopia and on a purge  of perceived enemies of their revolution. “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 88, and former head of state Khieu Samphan, 83, showed no emotion as the verdict was handed down, but regime survivors outside the court wept and applauded. The two will remain in detention as their lawyers appeal the verdict.

    Read the full story here. A Unicef Youth Peace Ambassador writes about his visit to the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia.

  5. PH telecom giant acquires 10% of Rocket Internet

    The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is investing 333 million euros ($445 million) to acquire a 10% stake in Rocket Internet, known for adopting successful business models for and builds new businesses meant for untapped markets. Rocket Internet In the Philippines, the company is known for online commerce sites Lazada and Zalora, as well as taxi booking service EasyTaxi. PLDT and Rocket Internet will develop online and mobile payments solutions for emerging markets.

    Read the full story here.

  6. World Bank forecast for PH now below gov’t growth targets

    Citing the slow start of the economy in the first quarter of 2014, lower government spending in the second quarter, and monetary policy tightening, the World Bank downgraded its growth forecasts for the Philippines for 2014 and 2015. In its Philippine Economic Update, the Washington-based lender said that it revised its growth outlook for the Philippines to 6.4% from 6.6% for 2014, and to 6.7% from 6.9% next year. These are below the government’s growth targets of 6.5% to 7.5% for 2014, and 7% to 8% for 2015. However, “his projected growth remains one of the fastest in the East Asia region, second only to China among the major economies,” said World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi.

    Read the full story here.

  7. What are the PH’s most competitive local governments?

    The Philippines’ National Competitiveness Council ranked 136 cities and 399 municipalities on economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure for 2014, for a competitiveness index that’s dominated by local government units in Metro Manila and Luzon. The top 10 of each category, however, still includes key cities in Mindanao and the Visayas. For their overall competitiveness, Makati topped the cities and Daet in Camarines Norte topped the municipalities. The number of LGUs assessed this year is up from 122 cities and 163 municipalities in the study’s pilot run in 2013.

    Read the full story here. Check out the complete list of winners here.

  8. States of emergency as Ebola deaths near 1,000 mark

    States of emergency have been declared in west African nations as the fast-spreading Ebola epidemic claimed more than 900 lives and infected more than 1,700. Ebola causes severe fever and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding. It is transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, and people who live with or care for patients are most at risk. The head of Red Cross said the communities can use the lessons from the fight against AIDS in fighting Ebola, mainly to treat the victims as part of the solution and not as problems.

    Read the full story here.

  9. PH farmers, entrepreneurs may not be ready for regional integration

    When the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) starts moving toward a single economy by end-2015, Philippine conglomerates will be ready, but not the agricultural sector, which executives say will have a tough time dealing with the changes. Lower prices of goods would benefit consumers but could harm certain sectors such as farmers and entrepreneurs. “If sugar and rice from Indonesia is cheaper and sold in the Philippines, [local] farmers would suffer. This is something that should be addressed seriously because these are the sources of social unrest,” said Jollibee Foods Corporation chief financial officer Ysmael Baysa. Some say regional integration is a double-edged sword for the Philippines, given the need to put in place institutional reforms that will make Philippine business and sectors competitive in the regional economy.

    Read the full story here.

    Make it a habit to check Rappler’s ASEAN page for news and features on the region.

  10. A decade later, parents find daughter lost in tsunami

    A couple who lost two children when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck West Aceh in Indonesia on December 26, 2004, was reunited with the daughter they thought had died. Ten years later, the woman’s brother saw a girl, now 14 years old, who had a striking resemblance to the 4-year-old girl the family lost. Inquiries made with the community led to a confirmation that it was, indeed, the couple’s lost daughter. “My heart beat so fast when I saw her. I hugged her and she hugged me back and felt so comfortable in my arms,” the mother said. According to the Indonesian government, 230,261 people were listed to have died or gone missing in the aftermath of the tsunami. The whereabouts of the couple’s son remains unknown.

    Read the full story here.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!