Philippine News Roundup −15 May 2008

This is today's news roundup. Updates will continuously be posted during the day.

A few days after publicly declaring that the government can have Meralco if it wants to, the head of the Lopez group admits to soliciting proxies in a bid to stop GSIS from taking control of the power company. Within the last few days, the government side has been dominating the media scene with accusations of cheating and other unethical management practices to include the Meralco's sweetheart deals with companies owned by the Lopez family (this is the latest accusation). Starting today, the public can expect to start hearing from the other side. With the Lopez family admitting that it will fight the government's takeover attempt during the company's annual general meeting (May 27), it is but logical for the group to go all out in a public relations campaign.

Back to the rice issue, the government has already imported 1.7 million metric tons (MT) out of the 2.1 million MT that it plans to buy for 2008. With the international rice prices rising at a rate higher than petroleum, it should be better off making a serious attempt to increase the rice harvest during the 3rd and 4th quarter of this year. On top of the sensible suggestions posted here and here, it will probably be good to look at the Chinese plan to offshore rice production.

More on the government, the finance department declares that the Philippine government is on track to meet its revenue goals for 2008. Of course, with all its unexpected expenses for this year like the huge subsidies in rice, the new oil hikes and the current direction of the Philippine peso in the foreign exchange market, it will probably have to let go of its dream of a balance budget only for this year. All is still well, though. A balanced budget wouldn't mean anything if the country is in turmoil.

In the advice section, here's a good section for people wanting to finance and build a dream home.

For the weather, PagAsa reports that the Luzon and Visayas regions will experience cloudy skies and scattered rain showers as an active low pressure area was detected near Casiguran, Aurora. On top of that, Tropical Depression COSME was detected As of 2AM today, at 11.8N (latitude) and 116.8E (Longitude), with a maximum sustained wind of 55 kph, heading NNE at the speed of 02 kph and headed towards the direction of South China Sea.

By the way, Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby dropped their libel case against Lolit Solis after the later retracted her statements in a contested article. In a signed statement which she submitted to the court, Solis wrote, “There is no factual basis for my article, which came out on Oct. 15, 2007. I am extremely sorry for dragging the names of Sam and Piolo. Sam, Piolo, I am sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I caused.”

With that, today’s lessons are

“Beware of the tyranny of the pen.It hurts much worse than the sword”


“If you want to people to have fun, make fun of yourself”.

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