Archive for the ‘budget’ Category

Fewer local jobs, rising numbers of OFW’s & fishermen plucked from stormy sea

January 22, 2009


As a consequence of the fall of the electronic industry, this is the number workers who lost their job in the major economic zone in Laguna according to reports that reached the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP.) The huge lay-offs put the pressure on workers to leave the country and seek employment abroad. It is consistent with the National Statistics Office (NSO) data showing that Philippine exports fell 11.9 percent to $3.49 billion in November, the second straight month of double-digit loss following a downward slide by 14.8 percent in October.

It is said the country lost $1.18 billion in exports, mostly from electronics ($960 million) in October to November 2008.

In a related development, the closing of Intel’s Philippine testing and assembly plant in Cavite this year will displace an additional 1,800 workers (cut down from 3,000 in November 2008) after 20 years of operation.


According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s) employed abroad totaled to 1,376,823 last year. The number exceeded the 2007 number by about 300,000. Employment abroad has steadily increased from from 867,969 in 2003, 933,588 in 2004, 1,077,623 in 2007 and 1,376,823 in 2008. This indicates the continuing dependence of RP for jobs abroad to provide employment to its citizens.


The number of fishermen rescued in the stormy seas of Sabina Shoal in Kalayaan Group of Islands in January 16, 2009. All crew members of M/B Lester, they were safely brought to Puerto Princesa, Palawan after being marooned in turbulent waters for 10 hours.

P330 billion

With the goal of creating 3 million jobs and build infrastructures this year, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo signed an additional 10% in the stimulus package bringing the budget to P330,000. The 3 million jobs represent a fourth of the 12 million presently unemployed in the country. It is doubtful if this amount is enough to offset the impact of the economic downturn. A 2009 national budget of P1.415 trillion was ratified by the congress.


This is number of evacuees from Gaza who arrived in Manila on January 21, 2009. Another 20 is about to arrive after they crossed the Gaza-Israel border on their way to Amman, Jordan. Earlier 16 Filipinos returned to escape the bloody strife between the Israelis and Palestinians which killed more than 1,000 people in three weeks. (Photo Credit: Ian Riley; Diong)=0=


No tax collection, no progress?

October 8, 2008

If the Philippine government knows that taxes serve as lifeblood of its daily function, how come local and national government agencies and its owned & controlled corporations (GOCC’s) do not remit taxes they withheld from employees to the Bureau of Internal Revenue? What are they waiting for? Corruption plus inaction make the picture look worse.

The Commission on Audit (COA) disclosed this gross failure which accounted for revenue loss of P18.6 billion last year. With this uncollected money, is it any wonder why advancement is very slow in the Philippines?

The GOCCs account for the biggest chunk of the lost revenue—P13.26 billion—followed by the national government agencies (P2.87 billion) and the local government units (P2.51 billion).

The total amount is more than the entire 2009 budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (P12.5 billion), the Department of Finance (P13.8 billion), or the Department of Foreign Affairs (P12 billion)

In 2006, among government agencies, the Department of Public Works and Highways accounts for the biggest amount of unremitted withholding taxes—P796 million—followed by the Department of Education (P303 billion) and Department of Agriculture (P201 million).—, Newsbreak (10/08/2008 Fonbuena,C)

Tasked to look for sources of govenment funds by the House of Representatives, the Congressional Planning and House Budget Office (CPBO) through its director of fiscal services Dina de Jesus Pasagui revealed that even the Philippine Congress and Senate owe the BIR P16 million in withholding taxes and COA owes P33 million. The CPBO chief Rodolfo Vicerra called for an improvement of taxpayers’ database of 29 million nationwide employees, of which only 5 million (less than 1/5) pay taxes.

It seemed the government focused on sensational cases of tax evasion among movie stars like Judy Santos and Regine Velasquez, but it didn’t look into the paralysis of tax collection in huge agencies where the big money would come from to finance the cost of running the country. =0=

2009 national budget, 100,000 jobs, & the Asian poverty line

August 28, 2008

P1.415 Trillion
The 2009 national budget, 15% higher than of 2008, has been approved by Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo and will be submitted to Congress. Manila Bulletin (08/26/08, Rosario,B)

24.5 Million
The number of Filipinos who fall below the “Asian poverty line” of $1.35/day spending, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB.) An estimate of purchasing power and level of financial hardship, the Philippines’ percentage of people below the poverty line (29.5%) is better than India, Bangladesh,, and Cambodia, but worse than Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka . ABS CBN (08/27/08, Rimando,L)

The remaining flying C-130 Hercules plane the Philippine Air Force (PAF) has after the recent crash in Davao City; all pilots and crew remain missing and are presumed dead. Malaya (08/27/08, Chua, J.)

P1 Billion
To bring home medals in future Olympics and to augment competitiveness, a proposed increase in the budget of the Philippine Sports Commission, double the previous amount of P500-600 million, was aired by Monico Puentebella, RP chief of Olympic Mission. Though not strictly implemented, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Board Corp (PAGC0R,) is mandated by law to give 5% of its gross income to the sports development. GMA TV News (08/26/08)

29 Cases
This reported new HIV cases/ month of 2007-2008 is higher than the 20/month of the previous years. Since 1984, a total of 3,305 HIV cases have been reported in the Philippines and 310 people have died from AIDS. These figures are low-prevalence statistics which can change into high prevalence or to an epidemic if HIV cases continue to rise. AFP (08/26/08)

Number of maids, including Filipinos, who died in Lebanon as reported by Human Rights Watch, the New York based the group who said that Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW’s) from countries like the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia were forced to suicide by jumping out of buildings because of isolation, difficult working conditions and maltreatment from their employers. AFP (08/26/08)

P406.8 Billion
The amount paid by the Philippines for its loan between January to July this year, 0.6% less than the amount paid for the period of 2007. Lower by 6.9% from P249.88 billion, the principal debt payments totaled P232.6 billion. Interest payments totaled P174.22 billion, up 9.2 percent from P159.49 billion. PDI (08/28/08, Remo, M.)

74,581 Families
The number of families with 362,475 persons displaced as of August 27, 2008 in the war between MILF rebels and Philippine Government forces in Mindanao, said the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC.) To escape the fighting, 33, 438 families (156,059 people) fled to 152 evacuation sites. At least 55 have died in the ongoing hostilities. GMA TV News (08/27/08)

100,000 Jobs
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Marcelino Libanan claimed this number of jobs which can be generated with the granting of indefinite visas for foreigners who can provide at least 10 gainful employment opportunities for Filipinos in their businesses. Manila Bulletin (08/28/09, Ramirez, J.)Photo Credit: Simmons,A.=0=