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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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VP Binay sworn-in as HUDCC chairman

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VP Binay sworn-in as HUDCC chairmanMANILA - Former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay will not only be serving as vice president of the country.  On July 20, he took an oath of office, administered by no less than President Benigno C. Aquino III, as chairman of the  Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) in Malacanang.

The vice-president's wife, Elenita, and his son, Makati Mayor Jun-Jun Binay witnessed the simple ceremony. He later joined President Aquino for a Cabinet meeting in the adjoining Aguinaldo State Dining Room.

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Villar, Pangilinan vie for senate presidency; Angara's bloc may provide the winning vote

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MANILA -- In a first stand-off between two old-time parties -- the Liberal Party versus the Nacionalista Party -- the race is on who would emerge as the Senate president: Francis Pangilinan or Manny Villar. Or as a remote possibility, if odd-makers have it, current Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile may yet retain his seat.

It all now depends on a crucial horse-trading and whichever party gives in for more concession, an eventual senator president may soon emerge after vacationing senators come back and attend a full session to elect their new leader on Monday, July 26.  And a vote from a bloc of senators not belonging to either party may provide the winning vote.

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Labor leader presses former GSIS GM for update on foreign investments

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MANILA -- Labor leader Ernesto Herrera has welcomed former Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president and general manager Winston Garcia's statement that he is ready to submit to an audit of the pension fund's operations during his term.

While welcoming Garcia's remarks, Herrera expressed disappointment that the erstwhile GSIS chief has yet to address the matter of the condition of the pension fund's foreign investments, and the question why many pensioners are still complaining about delays in their monthly allowances.

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RP Presidential Candidates -- What Do They Stand For?

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MANILA — “The profiles of the leading presidential candidates underscore how Philippine elections continue to be basically elite-dominated and money-driven,” said Pagbabago! Co-chair Judy Taguiwalo. To help voters “gauge their candidates” the Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change [2] has designed the “People’s Criteria [3].”

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Solon urges DFA, DOE to check Filipinos in troubled Greece

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Concerned with the social unrest and fierece rioting in Greece,a senior member of Congress has urged the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment to ascertain the situation of Filipino workers based in that country.


"We have thousands of Filipino workers, mostly sailors in Greece. They ought to be dutifully looked after, amid the worsening social conditions there," said Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, a member of the bicameral Commission on Appointments.

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6.0-magnitude quake strikes west of metro manila

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A 6.2-magnitute earthquake has struck west of Manila, shaking building in the capital and causing workers to stream out of their offices.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties Thursday and no tsunami alert was issued. Buildings in Manila shook for about 30 seconds.

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A Century Later, Filipino Women Remain in Grip of Poverty, Injustice

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MANILA — March 8 this year marks the 100th year since the declaration of International Women’s Day. But women are still vulnerable especially in times of crisis. Under the Arroyo administration, data show that many women still suffer from many forms of injustice.

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Philvocs: Tsunami threat over

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MANILA -- In light of concerns about a possible tsunami hitting the Philippines after an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile February 27, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs) said Monday (March 1) that the threat is over.

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2010 Bets Told: Act on Poor’s Needs, Demands

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MANILA — Urban poor group Kadamay and progressive organizations commemorated the 24th anniversary of People Power I not with glamorous and star-studded concerts but with a protest march.

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Cotabato solon calls women unsung heroines of the economy

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MANILA -- A proposed redefinition of "work" in order to give more recognition to women has drawn the support of Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, who described it as "fair, practical and necessary –- even a bit overdue."

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Villar says visit to Cebu Archbishop was not to seek endorsement but a blessing

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CEBU CITY -- In a trip to this city on Feb. 20, Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manuel L. Villar, Jr. met with Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. But to dissuade perceptions of a political endorsement, both Vidal and Villar clarified that the meeting should not be misunderstood as an endorsement for the elections this May.

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News Analysis: The Gains and Promise of the People Power Uprising at Edsa

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MANILA — The country is commemorating this week the 24th anniversary of Edsa People Power 1. Some would not bother celebrating the event because they feel that the country is no better off now.

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Arrested health workers say they were tortured

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ANTIPOLO CITY—This would be a test to the Anti-Torture Law of 2009: the Health Alliance for Democracy has revealed—the Morong 43 was heavily tortured, physically and mentally.

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Lady Solon wants AIDS fund probed

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ANTIPOLO CITY —  Iloilo (1st District) Rep. Janet Garin calls on the government to investigate the “health” of the AIDS fund as cases of the disease now reaching almost a pandemic proportions.

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TUCP reports a decrease in Filipino nurses seeking US employment

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MANILA - The number of Filipinos that sought to enter America’s nursing profession plunged by 26 percent in 2009, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) reported Sunday Feb. 7, 2010.

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