Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Philippine National Budget

Is Malacanang ready if Congress fails to enact on time the proposed P1.4 trillion 2009 national budget it has passed? You bet.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has personally told Palace reporters "it would be 'desirable' if Congress could approve the proposed 2009 national budget by December".

She however added that her administration has "lived for many years without the budget being signed in December."

It may be recalled that Congress has failed to enact the proposed outlay, forcing the government to operate under a reenacted budget for the first quarter in the last two years.

The 2009 proposed budget is about 15 percent higher than the P1.227-trillion budget for this year.

She said the proposed budget would address not only the world food and fuel crises but also the funding requirements of the government's priority programs -- environment, education and economy.

Roads, bridges and other public works, along with the farm sector, schools, social welfare and the government's health insurance program, would be the major recipients of the 2009 general appropriations.

Cebu Pacific Airline Strengthens Office in Visayas

In a press conference held Friday, Cebu Pacific (CEB) announced that it will further expand its Cebu hub operations with 3 new non-stop domestic services using its brand new ATR 72-500 aircraft.

From Cebu , CEB will fly to:Dipolog thrice weekly starting October 3;Ozamiz thrice weekly starting November 10 and Surigao four-times weekly starting November 13

The airline will also fly daily from Manila to Busuanga starting October 6, 2008.

RG T. Orense, Corporate Communications Manager said, the new routes are introduced with a promotional one-way all-inclusive fare of P688, except for Manila-Busuanga which starts at P988. The seat sale will run from August 29 to September 1, 2008 and is valid for travel from the start date until December 17, 2008.

The CEB team included PR consultant Charles Lim, Len Belmonte and Viv Singson of the CEB Media and Corporate Communications Department.

CEB is also offering a promotional one-way all-inclusive fare of P688 for its flights from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod , Iloilo , Butuan and Tacloban.

Meanwhile, one-way all-inclusive promo fares for Cebu flights to Manila , Zamboanga, Davao , Puerto Princesa, General Santos, Boracay (Caticlan), and Clark is at P988.

The seat sale fares are up to 57% lower than the fares currently offered by other airlines for these routes. After the seat sale, CEB's all-in year-round fares are still up to 27% lower than other carriers.

Lance Gokongwei, CEB President and CEO, said, "These new services will further stimulate tourism and trade in Cebu . Our low fares will allow more people of varied economic backgrounds to travel across Visayas and Mindanao as we continue to make air travel more convenient and affordable for everyone."

Increase Salary for Day Care Workers

Rep. Edgar Chatto has filed a bible bill in recognition of the selfless service of the Day Care workers whose essential yet non-permanent job merely gratified with honorarium is vulnerable to political changes.

His proposed Magna Carta for Social Workers secures their welfare thru institutionalized employment that grants reasonable compensation.

Better pay for a job well done is one motivation of the measure, said Chatto, assailing the existing Day Care Law or Republic Act 6972 which mandates a measly P500 monthly allowance.

The Chatto bill gives premium to the Day Care service because of its impact on the formative stage of the preschool children in the barangays.

More welfare incentives for Day Care teachers can encourage them in guiding the preschool children who, in the first six years of their lives, develop their cognitive, personal and social language skills.

Chatto's measure wants Day Care workers who are efficient to tend to the needs of the kids inside their preschool rooms five days a week.

Working parents can thus leave their children to the watch of Day Care teachers who are expected to perform well.

The First District solon has been supportive to the programs for the kids in their informal education, explaining why many social workers generously regard him as Day Care children's "honorary roommate."

In this year's provincial assembly of Day Care workers, guest Chatto challenged them to sustain the virtues that have endeared them to the children.

He said that to be effective, a Day Care worker should be trusted, patient, loving, caring and understanding.

According to the congressman, it is most vital to ensure that proper guidance taught should be learned.

In proposing the Magna Carta for Social Workers, the lawmaker acknowledged the need of the Day Care workers themselves to be well-motivated to serve.

The bill admits that the current Day Care service pay is "zero" against the cost of the enduring crisis typified by the spiraling prices of commodities that devalue the earning of the average citizen.