Philippine economy

Rappler Newscast | June 17, 2013
Talks between gov and MILF stall. Binay and 4 other candidates earn from donations. Facebook, Microsoft, Apple release information on US gov data requests.

Today on Rappler.

  • Talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front stall over disagreements on wealth and power sharing.
  • Nancy Binay and 4 other senatorial candidates earn from poll donations.
  • Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple release information on US government requests for data.

Talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF deadlocks, eight months after the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
The two parties disagree about wealth and power sharing, particularly issues on the devolution of taxes, share in natural resources, and how the national government will allot money to the region.
The MILF wants to stick to the initial annex both sides finished drafting in February 2013.
But when it reached the President, the government proposed changes the MILF thinks went beyond a cursory review.
MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal says, “Our understanding was since the negotiations had already reached a very high level, the initial annex was already good, but then all of a sudden they presented changes.”
On Sunday, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte says the government is studying the proposal to avoid mistakes from the past.
The delay has long-term implications.
Based on the MILF’s estimates, the Transition Commission needs up to two years to finish drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the foundation of the Bangsamoro region.
By that time, lawmakers will only have a year to pass the law in the 16th Congress before President Benigno Aquino steps down in June 2016.
Iqbal adds, “The leadership is angry, not only frustrated but angry.”

The campaign spending reports of 15 senatorial candidates in the May polls show 5 got more donations than they were able to spend.
Based on the one-page summaries of the candidates’ Statement of Election Contributions and Expenses, two candidates from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, two from Team PNoy, and one independent have leftover campaign contributions.
The biggest earner is vice presidential daughter Nancy Binay.
She got campaign contributions totaling P136.87 million and spent only P128.7 million — saving a little over P8 million.
Independent candidate Ramon Montaño reports the next highest campaign savings.
He received P6.63 million in contributions and spent only P1.38 million, with P5.25 million in unused funds.
Team PNoy’s Bam Aquino reports getting P125.5 million in donations and spending only P124.33 million.
He holds an extra P1.17 million from the campaign.
UNA’s Jack Enrile received P150.8 million in contributions and spent P150.4 million, saving almost P400,000.
Based on SOCE reports submitted to the poll body, he is also the candidate who received the most contributions.
Poll frontrunner Grace Poe-Llamanzares received P123.61 million in donations and spent P123.45 million, saving P160,000 thousand pesos.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue classifies unused campaign contributions as the candidate’s income and is subject to tax

First-time lawmaker Nancy Binay goes back to school for a crash course on legislation.
Ayee Macaraig reports.

It’s school season again.
But this mommy isn’t just sending her kids off.
She’s going back to school herself.
Nancy Binay returns to her alma mater, the University of the Philippines, this time not just as an ordinary student.
The senator-elect begins a 5-day Executive Course on Legislation along with her campaign-turned-Senate staff.
After facing criticism about her inexperience, the self-styled “forever personal assistant” of her father Vice President Jejomar Binay tries her hand at being a legislator.

NANCY BINAY, PHILIPPINE SENATOR-ELECT: Mas sanay ako sa executive kasi my father is part of the executive branch. Second pa doon is I follow the advice of Sen Miriam Santiago. Diba sinabi niya kaming mga neophyte mag-aral kami sa NCPAG kaya today I am here and I am ready to learn the ins and outs sa Senado. (I’m more used to the executive side because my father is part of the executive branch. Second to that, I follow the advice of Senator Miriam Santiago. She said we neophytes should study in NCPAG, that’s why I am here today and I am ready to learn the ins and outs of the Senate.)

The customized crash course covers the legislative mill, the budget process, and the use of pork barrel — all new to the tourism graduate.
Joining the session is her chief of staff, former Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug.
While Binay’s team attends class, the group is also preparing her first bills pushing for daycare centers in offices and rural areas, and improving safety standards for children.
For fellow neophyte Congresswoman-elect Sol Aragones and UP Vice President for Public Affairs Prospero de Vera, learning does not stop after the 5 days.

PROSPERO DE VERA III, UP VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS: This is just the start. Meaning as she starts her work with the senator, if there are areas if she wants intensive policy briefings, we can put that together on areas she wants to focus on.

SOL ARAGONES, LAGUNA CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT: Marami akong kinakausap para ang inputs matutunan ko para pag nagprivilege speech ako, may sasabihin akong may laman. (I speak to many people so that I learn their inputs. So when I do a privilege speech, it will have substance.)

Beyond the modules, Binay already gets exposed to Senate politics as lobbying for the leadership heats up.
She will be one of 6 members of the minority, backing the bid of resigned Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile against her godfather, administration stalwart Sen Frank Drilon.

NANCY BINAY, PHILIPPINE SENATOR-ELECT: Titingnan talaga namin kung ang pino-propose talagang makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan, nakikita niyo naman ngayon na ang economic growth natin, di pa nagkakaroon ng trickle down effect. (We will really see if the proposals will help our country. We can all see our economic growth hasn’t had a trickle down effect.)

After being in her father’s shadow for 20 years, Binay says she is preparing to make her own mark when the 16th Congress opens in July.

It’s the line Nancy Binay used to introduce herself to voters and win a Senate seat.
Now, she adds another role: student.
But for this political neophyte, the bigger classroom is the Senate.
Here, there are no grades, just 6 years and the vote of 16 million Filipinos she cannot afford to fail.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler.

Binay says she is also considering donating her P8 million savings from campaign contributions to a children’s foundation.

NANCY BINAY, PHILIPPINE SENATOR-ELECT: I am thinking of donating it to the Philippine General Hospital’s Children’s Ward or another option is to return it to the donors but the problem is how to divide the P8 million if you return it so I might just donate the money.

Poll watchdog Kontra Daya calls on President Benigno Aquino to disclose the amount of public funds he spent to campaign for the administration’s senatorial ticket.
In a statement issued a few days after the deadline for reporting campaign expenses, Kontra Daya convener Renato Reyes Jr says Aquino –quote–  “presumably” paid for his transportation, security detail, and other expenses in Team PNoy sorties using public funds.
He notes the president’s attendance in campaign sorties –quote– “not necessarily connected with the functions of his office.”
Reyes says, “In the spirit of transparency, a proper accounting should be made.”
Responding to Kontra Daya’s statement, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte says in a text message, “The President’s engagements are planned months in advance. The campaign worked its schedule around the President’s official engagements.”
In February, activists accused Aquino of using government funds to campaign for administration bets.
The Palace denied the claim.

After 3 days of searching in strong currents, authorities say the 7 missing passengers of a ferry that sank off Masbate last week are feared dead.
The MV Our Lady of Mount Carmel sank in calm weather Friday about two kilometers from central Burias island.
Two female passengers died.
Officials say 61 of the 70 people aboard the vessel are rescued.
Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Gerald Fabic says divers have not yet located the ferry.
The regional civil defense chief says authorities shift from rescue to retrieval operations because of lack of progress and signs of impending bad weather.

Taiwan and the Philippines agree not to use armed force in fishing disputes as they continue talking about the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by members of the Philippine Coast Guard.
In a statement released Saturday, Taiwan’s foreign ministry says the two sides reach the agreement during their first preparatory meeting on fishery cooperation in Manila Friday.
It says the agreement aims to avoid a repeat of incidents like the killing of the Taiwanese fisherman after PCG members fired on his boat while in waters near a Philippine island Taiwan also claims as part of its economic zone.
Philippine investigators say they recommended the filing of criminal charges against PCG members involved in the fatal shooting.
This comes after the Philippines agreed to joint investigations into the incident, following outrage in Taiwan over the killing.

Following the revelation of US surveillance program PRISM, tech companies Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft separately reveal information about data requests made by the US government.
Facebook on Friday says it received 9,000 to 10,000 user-data requests from the US government for the last 6 months of 2012.
Facebook’s General Counsel says the requests varied –quote– “from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat.”
The social networking site says about 18,000 to 19,000 accounts are affected by the requests.
Microsoft also reveals US government requests Friday, saying the company is –quote– “permitted to include the total volume of national security orders.”
Microsoft’s statement also covers the last 6 months of 2012.
The company says it received –quote– “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities.”
Apple follows Facebook and Microsoft’s footsteps Monday, sharing partial data.
Apple says it received between 4,000 to 5,000 requests for customer data relating to around 9,000 to 10,000 accounts or devices from US law enforcement agencies between Dec 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013.
The tech companies say they hope the move restores their users’ faith in companies that keep their personal information.

At number 5, a Guardian exclusive report says the British government ordered the monitoring of computer activity and phone calls of foreign officials attending the 2009 G20 summit in London.
The Guardian reports the systematic spying included British intelligence getting reports from American agency NSA in an attempt to eavesdrop on Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev.
The evidence comes from top secret documents uncovered by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The expose comes as Britain prepares to host another summit Monday for the G8 nations. It is likely to lead to tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain.

At number 8, North Korea proposes high-level talks with the US on denuclearization, just days after it abruptly cancelled a rare meeting with the South because of disagreement over protocol.
In a statement, North Korea’s National Defense Commission says it is willing to have –quote–“broad and in-depth discussions” on issues like the building of “a world without nuclear weapons” being promoted by US President Barack Obama.
Analysts says Washington is unlikely to accept the proposal without any concrete action from Pyongyang to move towards denuclearization.

And at number 10, Google reveals top-secret plans to beam Internet to two-thirds of the global population using balloons sent to the edge of space.
On Saturday, scientists release up to 30 helium-filled test balloons carrying antennae linked to ground base stations over Christchurch in New Zealand.
Project Loon hopes to provide Internet to remote parts of the world, allowing more than 4 billion people with no access to get online.
It could also be used to help after natural disasters, when existing communication infrastructure is affected.
The project is still in the early stages, but Google says its ultimate goal is to have a ring of balloons circling the Earth and providing Internet access worldwide.

The San Antonio Spurs are just one win away from taking home the 2013 NBA title after beating Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Finals, 114 to 104.
Spurs star Manu Ginobili, who has been struggling the entire season, churns out his best performance, tallying 24 points and 10 assists.
Another Spurs standout is Danny Green.
He sets a new NBA record for most 3-pointers in a Finals series.
He has so far made 25 three-point field goals.
The series now shifts back to Miami where the Heat will have to win two straight games to defend their NBA title.

The satire that shaped the opinion – and humor – of an entire generation since the late 1980s moves to an online medium.
Starting June 17, Pol Medina Jr’s comic strip Pugad Baboy will now appear on Rappler as #PugadBaboy, the web comic.
The popular comic strip is revived after being suspended from the Philippine Daily Inquirer for a controversial June 4 commentary on gay women.
Even before Medina resigned from the Inquirer, he was already reflecting on the possibilities of new media.

POL MEDINA JR, PUGAD BABOY CREATOR: Lumabas yung mga e-books, tapos yung mga iPhone  na puwede kang umupo, magkape nang matagal. At your own pace, puwede mo rin i-flip ’yung pages, nagpi-flip mag-isa. Kaya yun talaga medium ng future. Sabi ko parang naging opportunity pa ‘to para makalipat ako sa mas modern na medium. (E-books came out, and iPhones. Now you can sit down, have coffee leisurely and, at your pace, you can also flip the pages, they [in a way] flip by themselves. So it really is the medium of the future. I thought, my suspension became an opportunity for me to move to a more modern medium.)

From Mondays to Saturdays, #PugadBaboy will pop up on the Rappler site at 5 am.
Click on the first frame, which will appear on Rappler’s home page, and you will be led to a page where you’ll get to read the full comic strip and choose which punchline you like best.
It’s you. Collaborating with PMJr on #PugadBaboy. Every day.


Newscast production staff

DIRECTOR Rupert Ambil
  Dindin Reyes
HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER Katerina Francisco
  Exxon Ruebe
  Adrian Portugal
  Francis Lopez
  Naoki Mengua
GRAPHICS Jessica Lazaro
  Matthew Hebrona

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