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Budget final version out before Dec. 19

The bicameral conference committee on the proposed P4.506-trillion 2021 national budget got off to a good start Tuesday as members from the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed to come up with a reconciled final version of the spending plan before Congress adjourns on Dec. 19, a House official said on Tuesday......»»

Category: newsSource: thestandard thestandardDec 1st, 2020

Coconut farmers are poorest agri people

Coconut farmers are now the poorest people in the agriculture sector, much poorer than when they were 30 years ago.  This was the assessment of Danny Carranza, a coconut farmer and member the Kilusan Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (Katarungan). (MB FILE, Keith Bacongco) Carranza blamed the coconut farmers’ poverty on the low copra prices, inability to intercrop and modernize, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which isolates some of them who are living in far-flung areas.                “If you’re going to compare, we are much poorer now than we were back in 1990,” said Carranza. Carranza said the “crisis in coconut” that started in the 1990s was never resolved, but even worsened especially when farmers failed to diversify and intercrop before copra prices, dictated by world prices, crashed in 2019 and in the previous years.              “The price of copra is improving, reaching P16/kg from P8/kg last year, but that is still not enough,” Carranza said, adding that farmers’ income from a hectare of coconut plantation does not reach P10,000 anymore.            At present, about 95 percent of the 3.5 million hectares of coconut farms in the Philippines are meant to produce copra, which is the material for coconut oil manufacturing.  But with the collapse of the prices of coconut oil in the world market over the last two years, prices of copra have also dropped plunging farmers into deeper poverty. According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), prices of copra at farmgate as of October 15 stood at P21.86/kg, which is higher compared to P14.55/kg price level during the same day last year.           But Carranza said that it normally takes three to four years for coconut farmers to recover when a typhoon hits their plantation because coconut trees don’t recover fast. Several typhoons have devastated coconut trees lately.  “Farmers’ income is dictated by world prices, they don’t have enough funds to modernize their industry, and the government has failed to support them in the diversification of their coconut plantations,” Carranza said.  “Then things got worse because of climate change. And then, because of lockdown, a lot of farmers who live in far-flung areas were isolated and couldn’t deliver their produce,” he added.   In 2018, farmers working in coconut farms only received a daily nominal wage rate of P264, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.   To alleviate the current situation of coconut farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that it will soon distribute a P5,000 worth of assistance to coconut farmers, which will be withdrawn from the agency’s P24-billion stimulus package granted under ‘Bayanihan 2’. The problem, according to Carranza, is that the assistance may only benefit farmers who own 1 hectare of coconut plantations or less. The PCA is also setting aside a portion of its budget to finance on-farm and off-farm livelihood projects for coconut farmers such as intercropping and livestock. Meanwhile, Pambansang Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP) Chairman Eduardo Mora said the legal team of Senator Bong Go pledged to help coconut farmers push for provisions that they want to be included in the Coco Levy Act, the proposed law that will pave the way for the release of the P100-billion coco levy fund.           “It was the office of Senator Bong Go that informed us that the senate version of Coco Levy Act was already passed in third and final reading. But his legal team also assured to help us in the congress version of the law, in bicameral, and in the drafting of the IRR [implementing rules and regulation] of the law,” Mora told Business Bulletin.         Mora’s group, which represents more than a hundred thousand coconut farmers in the country, has been calling for increased farmers’ representation in the planned coconut trust fund management committee.         Coconut farmers also don’t want the funds to be handled by PCA, Mora said.         Business Bulletin already sought for Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s reaction regarding the farmers’ opposition of the Coco Levy Act, but he hasn’t responded yet. .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Lacson frowns at ‘pork hunter’ tag

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, a staunch anti-pork barrel advocate, does not like the name ‘’pork hunter’’ ascribed to him. Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) ‘’I don’t like it. I’m just doing my job,’’ Lacson said as he disagreed with Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III who had presumed ‘’regularity’’ on the “institutional amendments’’ by the House of Representatives (HoR) on the proposed 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB or national budget) after the House recently passed the measure on third and final reading. Lacson and Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon had cited some P326 billion ‘’lump sum’’ appropriations tucked in the proposed P666-billion budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Both cited a Supreme Court decision that lump sum appropriations are unconstitutional. Lump sum appropriations are suspected as ‘’pork barrel’’ appropriations. Lacson has been on the prowl every budget season, picking out suspected pork barrel appropriations in the GAB. The Senate is expected to receive from the House a soft copy of the budget on Oct. 28. Asked during an ANC interview if he believes a statement of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco that there is no pork in the GAB, only institutional amendments, Lacson replied: ‘’We have yet to see the transmitted copy of the GAB as approved on third and final reading, as transmitted to the Senate.’’ ‘’Until we see that, we cannot really tell or say if there’s pork or not in the House of Representatives version of the budget.’’ On a query whether amending budget after third and final reading is unconstitutional, Lacson said: ‘’That is clearly unconstitutional.’’ ‘’It’s very clear, there’s no other interpretation in that provision under the Constitution that after the third and final reading of any bill, including the GAB, no amendment shall be allowed thereto,’’ he said. ‘’I don’t see any other interpretation of that particular provision. So since they already passed on third reading the HoR version of the GAB, I see no reason why they will allow a small committee to introduce further amendments. Based on what I heard from Rep. Eric Yap, the Appropriations committee chairman, he said the amendments will not be coming from the congressmen but from the agencies,’’ he stated. ‘’Again, that’s another violation. We have a four-phase budget process. Budget preparation, authorization, execution, and accountability. We are now in the authorization phase. And only the Congress of the Philippines is allowed to participate in the authorization phase. Tapos na ang sa (the) Executive department (has completed its job in the) preparation phase. Ang execution, after napirmahan ng Presidente ang enrolled bill and when DBM starts disbursing allocations, doon mag-start ang execution. So agencies under the Executive branch cannot be allowed to participate in the authorization phase of the budget process. Sotto had said that he would presume regularity after the House made institutional amendments worth P20 billion, including P5.5 billion, for COVID-19 vaccines. Lacson stressed that amendments to the budget by the House small committee is unconstitutional. ‘’To say there’s presumption of regularity, I think it’s misplaced. If that is the output of the small committee and they will include these amendments in the USB drive they will transmit to us on Oct. 28, then we cannot presume regularity, with all due respect to my Senate President…because if it is based on an unconstitutional act, I cannot presume regularity,’’ he added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

House, Senate delay 2020 budget approval

The House of Representatives and the Senate will not be able to approve the final version of the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget today because the conference committee tasked to come up with a common draft is seeing a delay of up to two days in finishing its job and submitting its report to the two chambers......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 8th, 2019

Congress rushing to approve budget before year ends

  THE House of Representatives approved the proposed National Budget Bill for 2020 in record time last September 20 and immediately sent it to the Senate. Last November 27, the Senate approved its version of the bill. Between now and the end of the year, Congress must approve the final version of the bill and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2019

DENR hihirit ng dagdag na P3B para sa 2020 budget

Manila, Philippines – Humihingi ng karagdagang P3 bilyong budget ang Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) para sa mga programang nakatakdang ipatupad sa 2020. “We are hopeful the budget augmentation will be included in the final version of the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) to be passed by Congress—the House of Representatives and the […] The post DENR hihirit ng dagdag na P3B para sa 2020 budget appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

McLaren s failed Indy 500 effort was a comedy of errors

By Jenna Fryer, Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The comedy of errors that doomed McLaren's disastrous return to the Indianapolis 500 began months before Fernando Alonso failed to qualify for the race. How bad was it? A week before Alonso's first test in the car, the team realized it didn't even have a steering wheel. McLaren CEO Zak Brown acknowledged Monday the team was woefully unprepared and small oversights snowballed into the final result. Bob Fernley, the head of the operation, was fired hours after Alonso missed the race and Brown returned to England to digest the embarrassment of his venture. Brown on Monday provided The Associated Press a detailed timeline of the bloopers and blunders that led to Alonso missing the race, the last piece the two-time Formula One champion needs in his quest to win motorsports' version of the Triple Crown. "I don't think we came into this arrogant, I think we were unprepared," Brown said. "We didn't deserve to be in the race and it's our own fault. It's not like we showed up and gave our best. We defeated ourselves." The path to missing the 33-driver field began when the car was not ready the moment Texas Motor Speedway opened for the April test. Brown had personally secured a steering wheel the previous week from Cosworth to use for the test, and the mistakes piled up from there. "We didn't get out until midday, our steering wheel was not done on time, that's just lack of preparation and project management organizational skills," Brown said. "That's where this whole thing fell down, in the project management. Zak Brown should not be digging around for steering wheels." A cosmetic issue at the Texas test haunted McLaren deep into last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McLaren purchased a car from technical partner Carlin, and though the car was orange when McLaren received it, it was not the proper McLaren "papaya orange." It had to be repainted after the test, and that still had not been completed when Alonso crashed his McLaren-built car last Wednesday. The Carlin spare was in a paint shop 30 minutes from the track, more than a month after McLaren complained about the color, and it ultimately cost McLaren almost two full days of track time. The team looked foolish as other teams were able to move into backup cars in mere hours; James Hinchcliffe crashed in Saturday qualifying and was back on track in his spare that afternoon. Carlin was a two-car team when McLaren made its alliance but expanded to three for the Indy 500. Once Carlin took on the extra work, Brown said, the team had few resources to give McLaren. "It was clear they weren't capable of running three cars and serving us," he said. Carlin entrants Max Chilton and Patricio O'Ward were the two other drivers who failed to qualify. McLaren's poor showing is one of the biggest failures in Indy 500 history. Roger Penske missed the show with Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1995, a year after dominating the race. Reigning CART champion Bobby Rahal missed it in 1993, and two-time Indy winner Rodger Ward never got up to speed to make the 1965 field. The McLaren budget for this Indy 500 was strong, every sponsorship opportunity had been sold and the venture was a guaranteed commercial success for McLaren. Brown was somewhat hands-off and focused on the critical rebuild of the Formula One part of the program. He now laments waiting too long to become heavily involved with the Indy 500 effort. He also believes he was too slow in assigning McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran, a former Indy 500 winner, oversight of the program. "I should have been closer to Indy but I could never compromise Formula One," Brown said. "At 9:01 in the morning when we weren't on track at the first test, that's when we failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. We didn't ring the fire alarm quick enough because we could have recovered after the first test. "I am angry at myself because I was uncomfortable all the way up to the first test and I should have followed my instinct to get more involved." Many of the issues were beyond Brown's control. The car had an electrical issue in last month's test at Indy and an employee was taken off the team for the error. Alonso had another electrical issue on opening day for the 500 and the alternator and wiring loom had to be replaced. Alonso crashed on the second day, and McLaren missed all of Day 3 rebuilding the spare from Carlin that was finally the proper shade of orange. Fast Friday showed the car still needed speed, and Alonso went into qualifying on shaky ground. His first qualifying run was sabotaged by a tire puncture — which wasn't detected beforehand because Brown said the team had purchased incorrect tire sensors. Alonso wound up one of six drivers in the "Last Row Shootout" on Sunday and the panicked McLaren team begged and borrowed across the paddock for any assistance available. Alonso went out to practice Sunday with an entirely new setup, but in the frantic changeover a mistake was made in converting inches to the metric system the English team uses and the car scraped and sparked on his first lap. It had to be fixed and Alonso got in just five more laps before rain ended the session. When it came time for Alonso to make his final last-gasp qualifying attempt late Sunday afternoon, the Spaniard was given a car that Brown and de Ferran were concerned might not perform. "Gil and I went to the motorhome and told Fernando: 'We are going to try this, but this could go well or really wrong. Are you comfortable?'" Brown said. "And Fernando said, 'Let's go for it.'" Alonso agreed that he never backed away from the challenge. "We went out with an experiment that we did overnight. We changed everything on the car because we thought that maybe we need something from the mental side different to go into the race with some confidence," Alonso said. "We went out not knowing what the car will do in Turn 1, but you're still flat. So we tried." The new setup and assistance from other teams indeed got the car up to speed, but Alonso was knocked from the field by 23-year-old Kyle Kaiser of tiny Juncos Racing. McLaren discovered after the qualifying run that the car had the wrong gear ratio setup. "We actually had a 229 (mph) car but we had 227.5 gearing, so we beat ourselves again while we almost made it," Brown said. "We really did put it all on the line and you could feel the anxiety. There was some real heroism in that. I don't want the world to think McLaren is a bunch of idiots because while we did have a few, we had some real stars." Alonso has rejected an offer from the team to purchase a seat in the Indy 500 field for him. What's next is a careful lookback as Brown figures out McLaren's future at both the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series. He still wants to field two full-time entries in the series but isn't sure yet how much of a setback this has been. He believes McLaren will be back next year at Indy for a second chance. "I feel an obligation to the fans and sponsors, we let them down. We didn't fulfill our promise and I think they need more than just an apology," Brown said. "There will be repercussions for those who don't deserve to work for a great team like McLaren. We will look at what we learned here and the list is a mile long. I hope people appreciate that we go for it, we are racers, and Fernando is a star and we are not quitters. We want to come back.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Cities, provinces to play bigger roles under Duterte s final budget

Work has started for the crafting of President Rodrigo Duterte’s final budget for 2022......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 8th, 2021

House ready for extended session

Congress is expected to approve on third and final reading before adjourning this week for Christmas two bills seeking to extend the validity of the P4.1- trillion 2020 national budget until December next year and the appropriations under the P165.5-billion Bayanihan to Recover as One Act until June 30, 2021......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 14th, 2020

CamSur solon protests undue cuts in outlay

A member of the House of Representatives lamented Friday what he described as “undue” cuts in the proposed infrastructure outlays for certain congressional districts under the House-approved version of the proposed 2021 national government budget......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 27th, 2020

Senate OKs P4.5T budget

Voting 22-0, the Senate on Thursday approved the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021 on third and final reading......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 27th, 2020

Excesses, inequalities in nat’l budget bill

    THE Senate has been going through the proposed P4.5-trillion General Appropriation Bill for 2021 approved last month by the House of Representatives. The Senate will approve its own National Appropriation Bill which will then be consolidated by a Bicameral Conference Committee into the final Congress-approved bill for signing by President Duterte in December. […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2020

Sotto expects bicam version of budget by Dec. 6

Sotto expects bicam version of budget by Dec. 6.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsNov 21st, 2020

Senate augments P245M to hire 100 judges-at-large for 2021

The Senate has provided P245 million in their version of the 2021 national budget to hire 100 judges-at-large for 2021. This was disclosed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sonny Angara during the Senate plenary deliberations on the Judiciary’s budget for 2021. “Under the committee report, we provided P245 million approximately to add to the number […] The post Senate augments P245M to hire 100 judges-at-large for 2021 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsNov 20th, 2020

House beats deadline, sends 2021 Budget Bill to Senate a day ahead

The House of Representatives was scheduled to transmit on Tuesday its approved version of the P4.506-trillion 2021 General Appropriations Bill to the Senate, one day ahead of the promised date, according to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 27th, 2020

House clarifies P20-b & rsquo;errata& rsquo; in 2021 budget

The P20 billion institutional amendments in the House of Representatives-approved version of the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021 were mere “corrections of style and of errata” and not actual or “literal” changes, a House official said on Wednesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

House version of 2021 budget ready for Senate submission

"We don't want a reenactment of the 2018 budget. There is a huge penalty for that, and we need to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic," a lawmaker said. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

New-look House leadership off to a good start, say solons

House members can’t help but notice a sense of synergy between Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez in just their first few days of working together. Case in point, according to Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes, and Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos, were the two important bills that the House leadership was able to deliver without a hitch during the conduct of special sessions this past week. The Majority Bloc solons were referring to the passage on third and final reading of measures House Bill (HB) No.7727, or the P4.506-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) of 2021; and HB No.7884, or the proposed Act authorizing the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications. “The performance of the new leadership during special session was very commendable. This is a very encouraging sign in our mission to approve the legislative agenda of President Duterte,” Barzaga said. “The Velasco-Romualdez leadership (is) off to a good start,” added the veteran congressman and former Dasmariñas mayor. For her part, Robes said she is “extremely delighted that the leadership impasse in the House of Representatives had been resolved peacefully and amicably by our two honorable leaders, Lord Alan Velasco and former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.” “I look forward to a renewed, more united and inclusive leadership at the House of Representatives led by Speaker Velasco with Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. I believe that Speaker Velasco and Majority Leader Romualdez are both righteous and committed to steer the House of Representatives to new heights to become a more effective and responsive institution to serve the Filipino people especially in these trying times,” she stressed. On the other hand, Delos Santos believes that the new-look leadership of the Lower Chamber will continue to work beyond 2020 even as he praised his colleagues for passing next year’s budget bill. “We are very happy that it (GAB) already finished the third reading. Our goal is always to fast-track the process to help out fellow Filipinos. These are not normal times, and gusto po nating matugunan agad yung mga pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin (we want to quickly address the needs of our people),” Delos Santos said. “We want to assure government agencies (will have enough) resources for them to be able to function in the new normal,” he added. The passage of HB No.7884 or the Anti-Red Tape Bill followed soon after the chamber gave its final nod to the 2021 GAB. Both had been certified as urgent by President Duterte......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Palace seeks quick, efficient budget passage

Malacañang has appealed to the Senate for a quick but efficient passage of the P4.506 trillion 2021 national budget which the House approved on third and final reading Friday night......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

House okays budget in marathon session

The House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Friday night approved on third and final reading the P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021, reaffirming its commitment to pass the highest quality budget that would help Filipinos and the economy rebound, reset and recover from the adverse impact of COVID-19......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Think tank urges transparency in budget spending

As deliberations on the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget are on their final stages, a Makati-based think tank has urged government to make spending transparent to the people, especially at a time when huge budget allocations are needed to be responsive to the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020