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Archive for December 17th, 2008

Arroyo certifies CARP resolution urgent

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:41:00 12/17/2008

Filed Under: Agrarian Reform, Congress, Legislation, Politics

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has certified as urgent a joint congressional resolution that will extend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) for six months, Malacañang said, as it appealed for understanding from farmers who have gone on a hunger strike to press for legislation on the matter.

Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said calling for a special session to pass the resolution was a “very distinct possibility.”

Both houses of Congress will go on recess starting Thursday. The CARP will end on December 31.

“The President has certified as urgent a joint resolution extending CARP in its present form for six months to at least forestall the termination of the program,” Claudio told reporters.

Claudio said lawmakers would consult with farmer-beneficiaries under the CARP to draft a “commonly acceptable” bill for its extension.

“What’s important is that CARP is extended and we hope that in that period they would come up with a better deal. We cannot allow the program to lapse and maybe a new law can take its place. Congress needs more time,” he said.

Asked about the possibility of holding a special session to pass the joint resolution, he said: “That is a very distinct possibility. The urgency of the matter is not lost to the Executive branch and Congress.”

Farmers who demand for new legislation on the CARP have been on hunger strike for over two weeks outside the House of Representatives. Several Catholic bishops have joined them.

“It is understandable that the farmers feel that way. But let’s be realistic, Congress goes on recess tomorrow [Thursday] and the resolution extending CARP is a stop gap measure to give lawmakers, the farmers and other stakeholders to come up with a better bill or a set of amendments that could be agreed upon by all,” Claudio said.

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Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002008-12-17T08:36:22+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Wed, 17 Dec 2008 08:36:22 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

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Govt sets P300-B ‘sustainability plan’

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By Joel Guinto
First posted 04:44:20 (Mla time) December 17, 2008

MANILA, Philippines – The government has set a P300-billion “sustainability plan” to fuel economic growth and to protect and generate jobs in the face of the global economic crisis, the full impact of which is expected to hit the country early next year, officials said.

The plan, presented to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, includes building and rehabilitating infrastructure, increased spending for social services,
and an expected increase in capital and consumer spending as a result of reduced corporate and individual income tax rates, Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said.

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said the government would give priority to “quick-moving” infrastructure projects that have no right-of-way and other legal issues.

“We presented an economic sustainability plan,” Recto said at a news conference in Malacañang. “It is not a contingency plan. It is not a recovery plan—there is nothing to recover from.”

He said the plant was for “continuing what we have been doing and stretching every peso in the budget to ensure that we save and create as many jobs as possible.”

Recto noted that while millions of jobs were being lost in the United States and China, the Philippines generated about 800,000 jobs this year.

He said Cabinet members were instructed to ensure that the infrastructure projects, such as rehabilitation of roads and construction of hospitals, school buildings and irrigation facilities, would have a multiplier effect so that “more jobs are saved, secured, and

Local government units will also be encouraged to spend on infrastructure development, he added.

Recto said that despite the global recession, the worst-case projection of the government’s top economic officials was a 3.7-percent growth in the gross domestic product next year, and the high end of the projected range was 4.7 percent.

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Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002008-12-17T04:30:29+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Wed, 17 Dec 2008 04:30:29 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

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