Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Repost From Pia Lee-Brago of The Philippine Star

IMF cites improvement in Phl economy
By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) Updated August 21, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (3) View comments

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine embassy in Washington reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has acknowledged the improvement in the Philippine economy, fiscal consolidation and quality of growth.

Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr. met yesterday with IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara and discussed the government’s ongoing efforts toward fiscal consolidation.

The embassy reported that Shinohara told Cuisia that the Philippine economy is doing well, the fiscal consolidation has clearly improved, and that the quality of growth is changing.

The IMF projects the Philippines to grow by six percent this year, up from the revised forecast of 3.6 percent last April 2011.

Cuisia expressed appreciation for the successful IMF staff visit to the Philippines in July 2011 which concluded that “the near-term outlook for the Philippines is favorable” and that “the Philippine government’s steadfast moves to achieve fiscal consolidation are very appropriate in light of the maturing recovery and the need to create space for priority spending.”

He also conveyed the government’s congratulations to the IMF’s new Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

Prior to his appointment to the IMF in March 2010, Shinohara had occupied various senior positions, including as vice minister of finance in Japan and the country’s executive director at the Asian Development Bank.

Meanwhile, the embassy said that a Partnership for Growth (PFG) Joint Country Action Plan would be drafted that aims to be “collaborative, inclusive and sustainable for the Philippines to achieve broad-based economic growth.”

Cuisia met with US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director for the Philippines Gloria Steele last Aug. 15 and discussed the progress of the Partnership for Growth (PFG) initiative.

He congratulated Steele for her leadership in convening a joint technical team that identified constraints to economic growth in the Philippines.

Steele informed Cuisia that planning teams are currently working on specific requirements under the PFG priorities framework.

Reposted From Pia Lee-Brago of The Philippine Star

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Repost From Pam Pastor of Philippine Daily Inquirer

Paris thrills to Manila: That’s hot

13 share25 11

PARIS MEETS PACMAN. American hotel heiress Paris Hilton looks pleased as she opens the presents brought by world boxing champion and Congressman Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee in Makati on Tuesday. “How cute is this little Manny Pacquiao doll they gave me,” Hilton says in a tweet. PHOTO FROM HILTON’S TWITTER PAGE

After the photo-shoots, the product pitch, and the partying, The Heiress is almost done.

Reality TV show star and businesswoman Paris Hilton met the media on Wednesday to do one more bit for her host company, after charming her way into the hearts of Filipino fans and friends that included “The Pacman” the previous night.

“If I lived in the Philippines, I would definitely live in Azure. The beach club is gonna be very Paris—sexy, fun, exciting, beautiful. Of course, there’s going to be pink there, it’s my favorite color,” she told reporters.

She was referring to Azure Beach Club, a residential community being developed by Century Properties in Paranaque City. The firm has asked Hilton to help design the project.

Hilton said “real estate is something I want to be involved in. I’ve done it all—books, movies, acting—but this project is the one I’m most proud about.”

Proud grandpa

“My grandfather built the Hilton Hotel chain and created his legacy. I am doing the same now. He called me two days ago when he heard I was going to the Philippines and told me how proud he was of me. I really look up to him as a businessman,” she added.

Hilton also had the chance to meet her fans at the press conference, including Isha Dinio who considered herself Hilton’s No. 1 fan in Manila.

Dinio shed tears as she and her idol hugged and exchanged presents. Hilton gave her a bag.

“You’re amazing,” Dinio told Hilton. “No, you’re amazing,” the international celebrity replied.

On Tuesday night, Hilton graced a dinner party held in her honor by world boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee.

Among those invited were the surgeon-to-the-stars, Dr. Vicky Belo, and her daughter Cristalle. Belo said she found Hilton “really charming and friendly and nice. First thing she said to me was, ‘I love your perfume.’”

“I told her I heard she had a very successful fragrance line and she was so happy to tell me that she was already launching her 12th fragrance,” Belo said.

Session with fans 4pm Thursday (today)

“She’s a Barbie doll and so bait (kind),” said publicist Macy Pineda who also attended the dinner.

Hilton later tweeted about the dinner party held at Makati Shangri-La’s Pasay function room: “Just got home from dinner with Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao. Had the best time! Loved hanging out with them and all their amazing friends.”

She also posted about the Manny Pacquiao doll that the couple gave her.

“I’ve been having a wonderful time. Everyone’s so welcoming and wonderful,” Hilton said.

Hilton is expected to be at SM Megamall at 4 p.m. today for the opening of her handbag store and for a meet-and-greet session with fans.

She is scheduled to leave Manila on a flight to Los Angeles tonight.

“I love the Philippines, I couldn’t wait to come back,” Hilton said.

Reposted From Pam Pastor of Philippine Daily Inquirer

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Repost From Cathy Yamsuan of Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines may soon own vast gas-rich area

5 share119 103

BENHAM’S RICHES The Philippines is the only claimant to 13 million hectares of an undersea region that contains huge natural gas deposits.

The Philippines will gain 13 million hectares in additional territory, an area slightly smaller than Luzon, should the United Nations approve next year the government’s claim on a region off the coast of Isabela and Aurora, Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje said on Monday.

Paje said the undersea region, called Benham Rise, could turn the Philippines into a natural gas exporter because of the area’s huge methane deposits.

Studies conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the past five years indicate large deposits of methane in solid form, Paje said after a Senate budget hearing.

The government is only awaiting a formal declaration from the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (Unclos) that Benham Rise is on the country’s continental shelf and therefore part of its territory, Paje said.

Legal basis

Once the Unclos establishes that Benham Rise is part of the Philippines, “we would have legal basis to enter into exploration agreements with private companies to explore… (the area’s) resources,” said Sen. Franklin Drilon, chair of the chamber’s finance committee.

Drilon said a favorable Unclos declaration would mean “increasing our territory from present 30 million hectares to possibly 43 million” with the inclusion of Benham Rise.

Discussion over Benham Rise generated excitement especially after Paje said that Philippine representatives were just awaiting one more meeting “to answer questions” before a special Unclos committee.

Only claimant

Paje said there was no reason for the Unclos committee not to issue a decision favorable to the country “since we are the only claimant, unlike in the western side (where the Spratly Islands are).”

“We have submitted a claim under (Unclos) sometime in late 2008. We got a reply from the UN lately (asking us) to answer some questions. They intend to pass a resolution sometime in mid-2012 to approve our claim (that it is) part of the Philippine continental shelf,” Paje told reporters after the hearing.

Records showed that the Philippines officially submitted a claim with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in New York on April 8, 2009.

Davide submission

Hilario Davide, then Philippine ambassador to the United Nations, filed the country’s partial submission with the commission.

The United Nations says the continental shelf is “the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea” up to 370 km (200 nautical miles) from the archipelagic baseline. An extended continental shelf goes farther than 370 km.

The Philippines claims that Benham Rise is an extension of its continental shelf.

Paje said Benham Rise was within the country’s 370-km exclusive economic zone.

American geologist

The environment secretary said an American geologist surnamed Benham discovered the area that was between 40 and 2,000 meters below the waterline in 1933.

“But we are able to define categorically that it is attached to our continental shelf only recently. We have proven (to) Unclos that it is attached. So now the UN is considering it for decision sometime in 2012,” Paje said.

He said gas deposits in the area would enable the country to achieve energy sufficiency.

“Benham Rise is very relevant because of its gas deposits (which has been) confirmed particularly by (the) National Mapping Resource Information Agency. It has given us the data that (the area) contains solid methane. We have not explored it but we have found nodules of methane in the surface and this is very important to us,” he said.

Kalayaan, Scarborough

The Kalayaan Island Group, which is part of the disputed Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal, both located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and claimed by the Philippines, are also believed to contain oil and natural gas.

Paje said there was the possibility that the country could export gas in the future.

The secretary added that there would be a demand for gas deposits in Benham Rise “because it’s much cleaner than (other) fossil fuels.”

The DENR formally submitted its proposed P16.99-billion budget for 2012 to the Senate finance committee.

Reposted From Cathy Yamsuan of Philippine Daily Inquirer


How do you want to see your blog reviewed, evaluated and rated as I see it? It's free!!! All that I request from you is a backlink from your blog to my blog by including my blog in your blogroll or enroll my blog in your subscriber or email feed. Aren't you curious how I will rate your blog as I see it?

To All Filipino Bloggers

May I invite you to join Filipinos Unite!!!. You can do so by commenting on my post or sending me an email containing your name, address, name of blog and its url. My email address is Your name, address, name of blog and its url will be included in the official registry of members posted permanently at my blog. Please join and be counted. Thank you so much. Mabuhay and God bless you and your loved ones.