VP Binay: named as the Most Trusted Government Official

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

In the latest trust and approval survey conducted by PulseAsia, revealed that the most appreciated and well-trusted government official is Vice President Jejomar Binay overtaking President Noynoy Aquino, having 83% trust rate from the 78% registered last October as compared to Pnoy’s rate of 74% as of this month, decreased from the 78% registered last October, according to ABS-CBN.

The survey is conducted February 24 to March 6, 2011 were: the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Taiwan over the deportation of 14 Taiwanese nationals to China; the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution; and the evacuation of Filipinos in Libya amidst the ongoing civil unrest in the country; the execution of three convicted Filipino for drug trafficking in China that is supposed to happen on February 20 and 21 but is put on hold because of Binay’ humanitarian visit to Beijing, China.

Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said the Pulse Asia survey encourages the vice-president to work even harder.

“VP Binay is grateful for the people’s support. It encourages him to work harder for our people. The VP knows that our country is facing so many challenges and he asks that we all work together to face these challenges and help President Noynoy move our country forward,” he said.

Other developing stories at the time the survey was a total of 1,200 representative adults participated in the survey. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.

source: GMANews, ABS-CBNnews

Aquino Vows to Improve Foreign Investments in the Philippines

By Kathleen Yu

President Noynoy Aquino

President Noynoy Aquino III

In his first state of the nation address (SONA) on July 26, 2010,  newly elected president Benigno Aquino III vowed to boost foreign investments in the country, fight corruption within the government sector and create job opportunities for the local workforce. Aquino promised to “boost collection and fight corruption in the tax and customs bureaus”  and to provide for the education, housing, and health care needs of working class Filipinos.

He vowed to improve PhilHealth coverage for government and private employees, as well as to “build more classrooms” and “fund service contracts under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE).” Aquino also proposed conditional cash transfers to assist parents in educating their children, and promised to improve the Philippine educational system by expanding the basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years.

To accomplish this, he proposed the establishment of public-private partnerships between the government and the business sector. He acknowledged the need to attract foreign investors to the country, and promised to implement stable economic policies that would not only “level the playing field” for potential investors, but also make the Philippines a more attractive investment destination in Southeast Asia. This would, in turn, reduce unemployment and create job opportunities for the local workforce.

According to statistics from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines registered only $1.5 billion in direct foreign investments in the year 2008, compared to Thailand’s $9.8 billion and Indonesia’s $7.9 billion. Economic growth in the Philippines averaged 3.7% in the last twenty years, as opposed to 4.7% in Thailand and 6% for Malaysia. During his speech, Aquino vowed to consider “each and every item of the budget” and promised to improve direct foreign investments in the country. Budget secretary Florencio Abad also proposed the implementation of government austerity measures, and promised “dramatic” improvements in both the education and health sectors.

In his speech, Aquino promised to improve business registration procedures in the Philippines, to encourage foreign and local investors to set up operations in the country. Under the leadership of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Gregory Domingo, the 4-8 hour process of registering a business name would now be cut down to just 15 minutes. The 36 documents required for the procedure would be cut down to 6, and the 8 page application form would be shortened to just one page. This would make it easier for foreign and local investors to set up business operations in the Philippines.

According to BPO Consultant Gregory Kittelson of Manila consulting firm Kittelson & Carpo Consulting, “Many foreign investors are hopeful that Aquino will provide an enabling and transparent business environment that will encourage growth and promote fair competition among foreign and local companies. The keyword here is confidence. Once investors are confident that Aquino will come through with his promises and put the right processed in place, we can expect a surge in long term investments.”

Kittelson added, “The general mindset of foreign investors was to wait and see if all went well during and after the recent elections.  Once Aquino was sworn in and the country appeared to demonstrate continuous stability, foreign investors regained confidence and carried out their investment plans for the Philippines.”

Let’s hope that PNoy (as President Aquino is affectionately known to the masses) is true to his word.

8 presidential bets show up for Inquirer debate

Estrada a no-show, cites PDI’s ‘bias’ against him

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2) Eight candidates showed up at the first ever presidential debate organized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer held on Monday, a day before the start of the official campaign period.

In attendance were frontrunners Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manuel Villar, administration bet Gilbert Teodoro, Senators Richard Gordon and Ma. Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal, evangelist Eddie Villanueva, Nicanor Perlas and JC de los Reyes.

Former president Joseph Estrada did not attend the debate, citing “bias” against him by the paper.

The event is being held at the University of the Philippines Theater in Diliman Quezon City.

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Hacienda Luisita-SCTEx road controversy to pull down Aquino’s ratings further, says solon

MANILA, Feb. 3 — As the survey ratings of Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP), and Manuel “Manny” Villar, presidential candidate of the Nacionalista Party (NP) are now “neck-to-neck” as reported by various pollsters, a lawmaker on Wednesday predicted that Aquino’s ratings would further drop due to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) controversy.

Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla said in a press conference that the alleged overpricing in the construction of the SCTEx and the clamor for the Cojuangcos to distribute Hacienda Luisita to farmers have dampened Aquino’s presidential bid.

Remulla, an ally of Villar, said the national government paid P100 per square meter for the right-of-way (ROW) of SCTEx to parts of the 600-hectare Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, when the actual value was only P8 per square meter.

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