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Filipino Workers In Macau Surge

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MANILA—JUST into the first six months of the year, the number of non-resident Filipino workers in the Macau Special Administrative Region already reached record-high numbers.

This is as Philippine Overseas Employment Administrator Carlos Cao recently reported that a hundred overseas Filipino workers in Macau got stranded after failing to find jobs.

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QC urban poor slam Ayala, NHA for impending demolition

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MANILA – Residents of San Roque subvillage, Pag-asa, North Triangle in Quezon City held a protest action in front of the UP-Ayala Land Techno Hub, Friday, vowing to fight the impending demolition of their community.

City administrator Victor Endriga announced recently that the National Housing Authority (NHA) will evict 9,000 households on Aug. 31 to give way to a P22-billion ($511 million) joint project between Ayala Land Inc. and the NHA. The project is part of the QC Business District.

Endriga said only 7,000 families are qualified for the relocation and housing program in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and Rodriguez, Rizal

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Aquino’s Sona: All for show, no substance – Bayan

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Photo credit: Angelica de Lara/Bulatlat.comMANILA – The second State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino yesterday was buttressed in Metro Manila by a deployment of 7,000 policemen and 700 to 1,000 soldiers from the Philippine Navy and Philippine Army, plus some armored carriers in case it would be needed. These were to counter the mass of protesters who had sought permission earlier to conduct a “true Sona” rally near the Batasan grounds.

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Can local private sector help reverse PHL’s migration addiction?

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MANILA—SOME of President Aquino III’s remarks in his recent State of the Nation Address are inciting an aspiration that going abroad for work will not be a forced option for many Filipinos.

“Before, (Filipinos’) foremost ambition was to work in another country. Now the Filipino can take his pick. (For as) long as he pursues his dreams with determination and diligence, he can realize them,” Aquino said.

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Migrants Group in Japan Urges Philippine Gov’t to Act Swiftt to Support OFWs

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MANILA — An overseas Filipino group in Japan has expressed its concern for Filipino migrants living in areas that were affected by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and consequently by the 30-meter high tsunami that hit the country’s northern coastline on March 11.

“We call on Ambassador Manuel Lopez to act swiftly to determine the conditions of our compatriots living in the areas affected, to secure their safety and to extend all necessary support and assistance to them,” Migrante-Japan, a chapter of Migrante International, the largest OFW group, said in a statement.

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Nuclear Option Continues; Groups Call on Philippine Gov’t to Exercise Caution

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MANILA --  Despite increasingly worrisome reports regarding the explosion in one of Japan’s nuclear power plants after last Friday’s 8.9 earthquake, the Philippine government has announced that it is still determined to explore and consider the nuclear energy option.

Energy officials said that the Aquino government would take the Japan disaster into consideration before it comes up with any policy decision regarding the development of nuclear energy as a power source in the country.

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In Philippine Hospitals, a Scam Preys on New Nurses

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MANILA — Kit, 26, is a licensed nurse but currently unemployed.  To her, the recent hearings at the House of Representatives about hospitals collecting fees from new nurses in exchange for letting them earn their first work experience in their hospital only confirmed that what she went through five years ago is still a reality today.

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IIRC recommendations: only Lim cited for criminal sanction

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MANILA --  Following are the recommendations of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee that investigated the Aug. 23 hostage tragedy. This was withheld when President Aquino released the fact-finding part of the report. The recommendations are being reviewed by the presidential legal panel headed by Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa.

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TUCP urges BI to ban American businessman from entering the country

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MANILA --  An American businessman who hastily left the country on August 25 is a subject of complaint by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and urged the Bureau of Immigration to immediately tag and blacklist him as "an undesirable alien" and banned from re-entering the Philippines.

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TUCP urges BI to ban American businessman from entering the country

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MANILA --  An American businessman who hastily left the country on August 25 is a subject of complaint by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and urged the Bureau of Immigration to immediately tag and blacklist him as "an undesirable alien" and banned from re-entering the Philippines.

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Romulo pushes for public consultations on proposed MRT fare hike

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MANILA -- warning that a sudden and excessive increase could boomerang and drive commuters to find other ways of going around, House Deputy Majority Leader Roman Romulo has urged the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to conduct adequate public consultations on any upward adjustment in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) fare.

"The public consultations should be broad and exhaustive, to ascertain the exact amount that is least burdensome to and most bearable by commuters," said Romulo, who represents the lone district of Pasig City in Congress.

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Labor bucks MRT, LRT fare hike

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MANILA -- The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has urged the Aquino administration to reconsider its plan to raise light train fares, calling it "harsh and unfair to minimum wage earners and other workers with fixed salaries."

"We consider the contemplated fare increases unreasonable and unnecessary, in light of government's capability to continue subsidizing commuters," said TUCP secretary-general and former Senator Ernesto Herrera.

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Labor bucks MRT, LRT fare hike

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MANILA -- The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has urged the Aquino administration to reconsider its plan to raise light train fares, calling it "harsh and unfair to minimum wage earners and other workers with fixed salaries."

"We consider the contemplated fare increases unreasonable and unnecessary, in light of government's capability to continue subsidizing commuters," said TUCP secretary-general and former Senator Ernesto Herrera.

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Funds to train crisis negotiators available, says solon

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MANILA - Government has enough resources to thoroughly train and produce highly capable crisis negotiators needed to quell significant hostage-taking incidents and other highly unstable conditions, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said Saturday.

In the proposed General Appropriations Act of 2011, Barzaga said the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), some P1.1 billion in fresh funding is allocated.

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Peasants Worry Mediation Panel May Prolong Luisita SDO Case

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MANILA — While parties to the case are preparing their memoranda and farmers await the Supreme Court decision on the validity of the Hacienda Luisita Stock Distribution Option, a special committee was tasked by the Supreme Court to ”mediate” and come up with a win-win proposal or a ”happy compromise” between the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated (HLI) and farmers.

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Proposed 2011 budget includes government subsidy for MRT commuter

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The national government will spend a total of P7.3 billion next year to subsidize the fare of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) commuters at a rate of P47.77 each, House Deputy Majority Leader Roman Romulo said over the weekend.

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Solon bats for ways to fight floods

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Government should integrate safe and sound rainwater collectors into flood control projects, House Deputy Majority Leader Roman Romulo said Sunday.

"We have to harvest and conserve for eventual recycling some of the large amounts of water dumped during the rainy season. This will not only help abate flooding, but also provide communities extra water reserves during harsh dry spells," Romulo said.

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TUCP Leader: Termination of Filipino maids in HK exaggerated

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"Grossly exaggerated."

This was how a Philippine labor leader responded to reports suggesting that many Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong are being thrown out by employers still furious over the bloody end to the Manila hostage crisis that cost the lives of eight Chinese tourists from the former British crown colony.

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SSS asked to refund members in loan overpayments

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MANILA -- The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has urged the Social Security System (SSS) to immediately give back to its member-borrowers some P980 million in individual loan overpayments.

"It is not right for the SSS to keep the money. Best governance practices compel the pension fund to promptly return the money to member-borrowers who were unfairly overburdened by excessive salary deductions," said TUCP secretary-general and former Senator Ernesto Herrera.

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Enrile elected Senate President; Belmonte, Speaker of the House

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MANILA -- Despite the highly publicized battle for the Senate presidency of the Republic of the Philippines between Senators Manny Villar and Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan. incumbent Juan Ponce Enrile, was re-elected Senate President.  Enrile was considered as the dark horse a week before the Senate officially opened its session on Monday morning, July 25.

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Research group urges Aquino to adopt pro-people measures to generate revenue

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The urgent challenge for the new Aquino administration is to increase revenues, but research group IBON urges government to place the burden of adjusting to the fiscal crisis on those that have the greater capacity to pay.

The new Aquino administration is faced with a serious fiscal crisis that could deteriorate rapidly or compel severe austerity if the revenue effort does not quickly improve. The first quarter deficit is already at 8.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP) from 7% of GDP in the first quarter of 2009.

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