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24 opposition lawmakers get zero infrastructure funding in 2018 budget

MANILA, Philippines – The era of zero pet project for opposition lawmakers has returned. Some 24 members of the House of Representatives, the majority of them from the opposition bloc, will not get any infrastructure projects for their districts or beneficiaries in the newly-signed budget for 2018. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the P3.767 trillion budget […].....»»

Category: newsSource: interaksyon interaksyonDec 19th, 2017

24 opposition lawmakers get zero infrastructure funding in 2018 budget

MANILA, Philippines – The era of zero pet project for opposition lawmakers has returned. Some 24 members of the House of Representatives, the majority of them from the opposition bloc, will not get any infrastructure projects for their districts or beneficiaries in the newly-signed budget for 2018. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the P3.767 trillion budget […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 19th, 2017

Floirendo says zero-infra budget more of ‘political vendetta’

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez' nemesis, Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr., has broken his silence on the zero infrastructure funding his district received for 2018, saying his former friend's leadership of the House had become a "liability" under the Duterte administration. "I am not an opposition. This is more of a political vendetta," Floirendo said in a statement issued on Thursday. Floirendo is one of 24 House members who ended up with zero or vastly reduced infrastructure funds after last-minute changes made during bicameral discussions on the P3.767-trillion budget signed by the President on Tuesday. "The zero-budget given to my district at the instance of Speaker Pan...Keep on reading: Floirendo says zero-infra budget more of ‘political vendetta’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 21st, 2017

Opposition lawmakers decry zero infra budget

By Minde Nyl R. dela Cruz OPPOSITION LAWMAKERS who will be getting zero infrastructure allocation next year said the removal of their budget was an act of “revenge” and “punishment” by the ruling party in the House of Representatives. The General Appropriations Act for 2018, contained under Republic Act (RA) No. 10964, was signed by […] The post Opposition lawmakers decry zero infra budget appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

24 ‘critical’ House lawmakers get ‘zero’ budget for infrastructure projects in 2018–Lagman

AT LEAST 24 lawmakers at the House of Representatives received “zero” appropriation for their infrastructure projects in the P3.8-trillion national budget for 2018 for being critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, a legislator from the opposition said on Wednesday. Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the leader of the opposition bloc known as the Magnificent 7, said [...] The post 24 ‘critical’ House lawmakers get ‘zero’ budget for infrastructure projects in 2018–Lagman appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

Trump budget plan shows how he would reshape nation – CNN News

An early glimpse at President Donald Trump's first budget proposal offers the clearest blueprint yet of how he plans to remake the nation. The plan envisages a 10% hike in military spending to be paid for by sharp cuts in other government departments, with the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency each bracing for a particularly painful hit. If enacted, the plan would involve a radical domestic reshaping of the federal government paired with a shift in the posture of American diplomacy around the world. It is an approach that flows directly from the rhetoric and positions adopted by Trump on the campaign trail playing to his grass-roots supporters' deep distrust of Washington and his &'8220;America First&'8221; political creed. &'8220;This is a landmark event, a message to the world, in these dangerous times, of American strength, security and resolve,&'8221; Trump said Monday. The budget plan comes at a time when the administration is making strenuous efforts to flesh out the ideological and political foundations on which the new GOP White House is built. Top officials, including the President, previewed a strident change of political direction at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week, and Trump will intensify the effort with his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night &'8212; a crucial moment for the new administration. But the controversial nature of Trump's emerging budget &'8212; always a magnet for partisan opposition &'8212; guarantees a fight that will test the White House's capacity to corral lawmakers and shape public opinion. It also demonstrates a desire to boost military might and de-emphasize diplomatic reductions that will reverberate in foreign capitals of friends and foes alike. Already, a cadre of retired generals and admirals has warned that cutting State Department funding on diplomacy and development would make America less safe. Democrats say they will use every tool at their disposal, which includes the power of the filibuster in the Senate, to block Trump's plans. The President could also face resistance from Republican budget hawks in Congress. Defense hawks, meanwhile, are arguing that the $54 billion dollar hike in defense spending is not enough after years of budget sequestration that capped military funding. It is not yet clear exactly where the cuts will come from. Monday's announcement involved top-line numbers from the 2018 budget sent to government agencies that must now work out how to adjust their spending. Any budget issued by the White House is merely an opening bid, and many soon become worthless documents once Congress, with its competing demands on the public purse, gets to work. Democrats, who could try to frustrate Trump by refusing to lift caps on defense spending by wielding the Senate filibuster, sensed a political opportunity to undercut Trump's appeal to working-class voters as they try to rebuild their party's support ahead of midterm elections next year. &'8220;The budget proposal is a reflection of where the President is at and who he is (and) what today's hard-right Republican party &'8212; which has done this budget through its Cabinet &'8212; believes in,&'8221; said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. &'8220;Which is relieve the burdens on the wealthy and special interests, whether they be coal companies or financiers, and put the burden on the middle class.&'8221; But Trump styles himself as a shrewd negotiator steeped in the give-and-take of real estate transactions and is known for making the kinds of bold opening gambits that the budget announcement on Monday represents. The proposals were also formulated directly from the fiery speeches of the President's campaign, which underpinned his belief that he has a mandate for radical change and might make any compromise harder. &'8220;When you see these reductions, you'll be able to tie it back to a speech the President gave, or something the President had said previously,&'8221; Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters on Monday. &'8220;We are taking his words and turning them into policies and dollars.&'8221; The goals are consistent with the theory of Trumpism laid out by the President's political adviser, Steve Bannon, at CPAC last week, which included a push to &'8220;deconstruct the administrative state.&'8221; Indeed, the budget would remold the federal government by paring back programs introduced by the Obama administration &'8212; for example, EPA regulations on the fossil fuels industry &'8212; and other agency reductions. In practice, according to Mulvaney, that involves a sweeping reset of political priorities. &'8220;It is a true 'America first' budget,&'8221; said Mulvaney. &'8220;It will show the President is keeping his promises and doing exactly what he said he was going to do when he ran for office. It prioritized rebuilding the military, including restoring our nuclear capabilities, protecting the nation and securing the border, enforcing the laws currently on the books, taking care of vets and increasing school choice.&'8221; Still, with Trump vowing not to touch popular non-discretionary spending targets like Medicare and Social Security, his budget team faces a tortuous task in wringing out savings at agencies while preserving room for Trump's promised big tax cuts. Every dollar that is cut from discretionary spending could affect other popular and vital programs, including transportation, conservation, agriculture and commerce &'8212; all of which have powerful lobbies ready to go into battle for their funding. And Trump does not want to tighten the national belt everywhere. For instance, he is proposing spending billions of dollars on his pet project of a southern border wall, though he has promised [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 28th, 2017

Congress eyes temporary budget as U.S. shutdown deadline looms

WASHINGTON DC, USA – US lawmakers will resort to passing a short-term federal spending deal next week to avoid an embarrassing government shutdown, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday, January 12, as prospects for a long-term 2018 agreement dimmed. A move to extend temporary funding beyond the January 19 deadline would ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Alvarez says budget slash for opposition is ‘essence of democracy’

MANILA, Philippines – In December, he defended depriving opposition lawmakers of district budgets for 2018 as a way to fund newly-created programs of the Duterte administration:  full tuition subsidy in state colleges and universities  and the  salary increases for uniformed personnel .  Now, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says the budget slash is the "essence of democracy," pointing out that the practice of withholding allocations for legislators ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

We don’t live by infra projects alone –– Lagman

OPPOSITION solons do not live by infrastructures alone. This was the message of opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman to the House leadership, who has decided to cut the budget for the infrastructure projects of the “undesirable” lawmakers. “The enduring verity that man shall not live by bread alone is a truism….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2017

Malacañang denies hand in budget cuts for opposition lawmakers

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday, December 21, denied it had any hand in the bugdet cuts and  zero allocations for districts of some opposition lawmakers for 2018. "We had nothing to do with whatever decision both houses of Congress had on the alleged deprivation of projects as far ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 21st, 2017

Alvarez hits back: Party-list critics may be getting rebel taxes; Lagman must explain use of P3.8B

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday stood pat on his decision to purge the projects of opposition and several lawmakers from the 2018 budget to reallocate the fund for "other priorities.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 21st, 2017

Alvarez defends budget cuts for opposition lawmakers

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday, December 21, confirmed that allocations for the districts of several lawmakers, including some from the opposition, had been slashed from the 2018 budget.  Alvarez defended this move. "The funds slashed from some projects of the opposition and ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 21st, 2017

2 Makabayan lawmakers: We have no infra funds because we didn’t propose projects for 2018

Two party-list lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc clarified that no budget for infrastructure projects were removed from their offices because they did not propose projects for 2018......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

Diokno on Duterte, Crime rate down, Tropical Depression Vinta | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno says President Rodrigo Duterte spent his confidential and intelligence funds 'better than the past administrations.'  Opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives slam the removal of their budgets for 2018, calling it an assault to democracy.  Data from the Philippine National Police claims the volume of crimes in the Philippines dropped ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

U.S. Congress approves funding stopgap averting gov t shutdown

WASHINGTON DC, USA – The US Congress, facing an end-of-week deadline, passed a funding stopgap measure Thursday, December 7, that averts a government shutdown and provides lawmakers and President Donald Trump with breathing room to strike a 2018 budget deal. The Senate easily passed the bipartisan measure that funds government ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 8th, 2017

US Senate leaders reach budget deal on eve of shutdown deadline

WASHINGTON, D.C.: US Senate leaders said on Wednesday they had reached a bipartisan budget deal for 2018 and 2019—a move which, if approved by Congress, would avert a second government shutdown in just three weeks. The deal, months in the making, was seen as a major achievement for both the ruling Republicans and opposition Democrats [...] The post US Senate leaders reach budget deal on eve of shutdown deadline appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2018

‘Grand Deception’ by Jun Ledesma

Letters From Davao: WHEN RAPPLER through its President, Maria Ressa, was caught trifling with an important tenet in the Philippine constitution that mandates that Philippine media should be 100% owned by Filipinos the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered it closed. Rappler was parading like it is wholly owned by Filipinos but turned out it accepted investment from Omidyar Network (ON) which is known for its notoriety in destabilizing heads of state that are not docile to America. It tried deception by claiming that the Philippine Deposit Receipts it issued to ON money was for philanthropic contribution. The attempt dragged them deeper in shit as PDRs are actually commercial instruments. When this trick did not work, Ressa again tried another act this time claiming that Omidyar signed a waiver on its veto power. Again this did not pass scrutiny of the SEC because the said waiver was discovered to be just a scrap of paper as the document was not notarized.  Running out of deceptive tricks Ma. Ressa went berserk when she was served the closure order and went about town crying her freedom is being curtailed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte no less. Her partner Pia Ranada did the same screaming she will be jailed by Duterte’s military. The grandstanding, it was obvious, was to stonewall the criminal violation they committed and to paint Rappler and its staff headed by Ressa as victims of oppression and dictatorial regime of Duterte. Contrary to its claim that they have lost their freedom of expression, more than ever Rappler had increased the crescendo of its unfettered attack on no less than the President Duterte himself. Ressa spearheaded a Black Friday movement supported by a handful of students from where else by the University of the Philippines campus and the usual garrulous but moribund Liberal Party stalwarts headed by VP Leni Robredo. They were joined in by UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and her local counterpart Chito Gascon in denouncing the Duterte government for curtailing the freedom of the press. Other foreign-funded media outfits joined the fray for obvious reason.  Theirs is a cacophony of ridiculous chants. Robredo warned that the closure of Rappler is a symptom of a dark future of the country. The juvenile delinquents in the UP campus joined pipsqueak assemblies with screaming placards denouncing Pres. Duterte and his “malignant forces that continue to peddle lies to justify their tyranny and dictatorship”.  They cut classes to face the TV cameras and klieg lights unmindful of yet another spectacular grade the survey firms Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia showing an “excellent” grade on the sustained trust and popularity of the nation on Duterte which they had been flagellating no end.  No one seems to mind their issue about tyranny and dictatorship as the World Bank grudgingly declared that “DDS killed democracy in the Philippines but they haven’t killed the country’s vibrant economy”.  Forbes, an international business magazine, likewise quoted WB on its Global Economic Prospects, which asserts that “Duterte Philippines is the 10th fastest growing economy in the world”.  The statistics is a slap on the face of VP Robredo who remains to be an incurable pessimist despite the figures that cannot lie. She continues to see the future of the Philippines in dark glasses forgetting that she is a Vice President and therefore should have celebrated with the rest for the gains that the country achieved. For her part, Maria Ressa simply ignored what Forbes and WB declared.  Maybe out of outrage that the Robredo seemed to be out of sync and blinded by sheer politicking and negativism, UP Political Science professor and political analyst, Clarita Carlos,  made a five-worded message to The Vice President thus: “President Duterte moves the Philippines forward”. To those who denigrate Duterte from cutting the country’s umbilical cord to America, Professor Carlos had this to say. “Duterte has moved the Philippines away from the usual foreign policy and in turn ‘defined national interest’ by tracking his own way of foreign policy”. She admired Duterte for his political guts and courage.  It is indeed pathetic that while the Philippines rise several notches higher in political and economic arena the opposition and the foreign-aided media outfits shamelessly continue to belittle these achievements. It is no small feat that Philippines came out stronger in economic growth than China in the 3rd quarter of 2017. On the 4th quarter moreover China rallied (6.9%) and landed on top of Asian countries followed by Vietnam (6.8) and Philippines 6.7%. The Philippines however has been growing more than 6% for nine consecutive quarters and that sustained growth is best among Asean nations. Any which way you look at it, that spells economic stability and investment grade for investors service firms like Moody’s and other international credit rating institutions. Cause and effect is a simple gauge to measure the impact of the tyranny and dictatorial regime that Rappler and its sympathizers have been accusing the Duterte regime. But as I always say, no one can quarrel with success especially when institutions of unquestionable stature put the positive figures across. Expect the economy to grow even faster in 2018 when infrastructure spending commences under the Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program. As we all know, the government had earmarked P8.4-trillion to achieve the mega infrastructure projects comprising of railways, highways and bridges, irrigation’s, airports and seaports to name a few. The job opportunities that these programs will generate are equally mind-boggling. […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2018

The 2018 National Budget, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth

The government slogan “Build, build, build!” resonates for many, especially those who have some grounding on economic growth theories. In a serious attempt to address the country’s decrepit infrastructure, the administration decided to pour in funds for “hard infrastructure” and implement projects that are physically necessary to facilitate trade and improve the country’s business climate. […] The post The 2018 National Budget, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Letters From Davao by Jun Ledesma

‘It was a good year’ We have seen the litany of achievements of Duterte administration. It dwarfed the entire six years of the Aquino regime. It could have done better except that it has to first fix a lot of damages wrought by an inept regime that has likewise institutionalized corruption and abetted crime the most horrific of it all – the drug syndicates.  Space or brevity must have limited some significant achievements of the  Department of Finance and am referring to the upgrades of credit ratings of the Philippines from investment grade to investment grade and stable. While early on Standard & Poor’s claimed that President Duterte’s war on drugs and alleged extra-judicial killings are factors that account for the static rating by December 2017 it grudgingly acceded that something good is happening in the Philippines under Duterte’s watch.  Finance Sec. Sonny Dominguez and his team deserves the credit. Fitch and Moody’s in their “investment grade and stable” rating in December enunciated that the issues surrounding drugs and EJK have nothing to do with the rosy economy of the country and its image as capital investment destination. The country’s economic performance for one is top in Asia and there is no turning back with the expected massive spending on infrastructures and government services starting 2018 and beyond.  The Duterte government achievements scoreboard makes the moribund opposition drooling. Still on Finance, expect the billionaires who are also the country’s tax dodgers to cough up. TRAIN or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion gives a huge relief to 99 percent of those small taxpayers saving the ar least P50,000.00 in tax cut!  But demands and exacts the reasonable taxes from the rich especially the filthy rich. Last year sampling of Lucio Tan (P6-billion), Mighty Cigarettes (P40-billion) and the Prieto and Rufinos’ one-mile asset that they are accountable to the government in still unquantifiable amount as yet? There is a subliminal message to be absorbed why candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte refused to accept donations from the rich and famous: just pay your taxes correctly and you’re okay.  The Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs are churning more collections under a continuing reforms.  President Duterte himself did dramatic and radical transformations in the area of Foreign Affairs and security. He was chided and lectured on by self proclaimed experts in diplomacy and security alliances especially with the generous expletives he is famous for. But as he admitted to the point of being apologetic, he told media men in this year’s Christmas party, “but that is me”.  Duterte’s foray into foreign affairs and diplomacy might be severely lacking in refinements but he put across his message clearly and direct and one cannot quarrel with what he achieved in such a brief moment. He virtually altered the outlook of the western countries on small sovereign nations. He overhauled alliances by an unwritten rule of mutual respect and cognizance of sovereignty. While Aquino made enemies with China which is the world’s second largest economy resulting in unquantifiable losses of opportunities Duterte reversed that with the resumption of trade, financial assistance with cheap money interest, massive infrastructure projects that will come into fruition by 2018. World leaders to include Xi Jinping of China, Vladimir Putin of Russia, PM Shinzo Abe of Japan and, to the dismay of the so-called Yellowtards, US Pres. Donald Trump who became his virtual phone pal.  The Department of Agriculture under Sec. Manny Pinol, did exemplary well. Productivity is better than expected and could have performed better if not for the natural calamities that the country has to contend with. Maybe the Bureau of Fisheries under it may try something out of the box. Propose to China to convert that disputed island into a one big marine laboratory. China provides the infrastructures while the Philippines the technical aquatic expertise. Make a 10-mile no-fishing marine haven around the island and guarded by the joint coastguard forces of China, Philippines and Vietnam. The Philippine Coconut Authority under Cabinet Sec. Jun Evasco is about to embark on a massive replanting program.  The Aquino government allocated billions of pesos to fight ‘cocolisap’ infestation but applied the wrong solution. Well, what do we expect from a certain Kiko Pangilinan? The replanting program was a big failure on account of  massive graft in high and low places. Replanting as well as new areas had been programmed by PCA.  Finally we have to give accolade to our Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for combating internal threats, terrorism and syndicated crime. The AFP and PNP are more prepared and better equipped now than any other time in history. Furthermore we see a disciplined forces in the AFP and while there are a few remaining scalawags in the PNP the cleansing process is done without let-up. We from Mindanao are comfortable and secured with their presence even under the aegis of martial law. If you do not believe me look at the various surveys on the popularity and trust of Filipinos on President Duterte and his government.  This will end my perspectives for year 2017 and we look forward to 2018 the Build, Build, Build era. The beginning of the new Philippines. Mindanao and Davao City, from where I live and write, may have suffered from natural calamities but we had seen, suffered and endured worse scenarios and even man made tragedies than […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

No ‘perpetual’ martial law — Malacañang

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will not allow “extensions in perpetuity” of martial law in Mindanao, Malacanang said yesterday after opposition lawmakers again assailed the constitutionality of its extension before the Supreme Court. Congress recently extended martial law for one year, until the end of 2018, as it underscored the continuing threat….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

DTI gets extra funding for shared-services facilities

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is getting a P1 billion budget in 2018 for shared-services facilities (SSFs), one of its channels for promoting the emergence of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The 2018 SSF budget represents a drastic upgrade from P70 million this year. Shared-service facilities are typically given over for use […] The post DTI gets extra funding for shared-services facilities appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsDec 27th, 2017