August 21, 2014
Daylight - Good news about the Philippines and Pinoys

The proposed 2015 Budget is now available online in open format. Click here to learn more.


P5.46 billion

Amount the Department of Budget and Management released to the National Housing Authority for the construction of 20,000 house-and-lot packages for the military, police, and other uniformed personnel in various regions of the country. As of May 31, 2014, a total of 46,852 housing units have already been completed from the time the housing program was implemented in 2011. This is an accomplishment rate of 75% of the total target of 62,790 units set as of 2013.


Click here to learn more.

P119.94 billion

Amount the Bureau of Internal Revenue collected in tax revenues for the month of July 2014. This totalled to P19.84 billion, 19.82% more than collections made in July 2013. The collection exceeded the goal set for July 2014 by P58.52 million.


Click here to learn more.


Percentage of the increase in the country’s manufacturing output for the month of June 2014. Meanwhile, sales continue to grow at 24.1%, from 18.6% of May. Capacity utilization remained at 83.4%.


Click here to learn more.



"This is indeed the time when we are fulfilling each aspiration we have for our nation. Thus, I urge you: Let us maximize every opportunity. Let us always stand for what is right and what is just; let us focus our efforts to serve our people—our Bosses—with integrity and honor. I am certain that, by so doing, we will fully realize our long-held vision for the Philippines."


- President Benigno S. Aquino III, in a speech at the ceremonial distribution of assault rifles to the Army and the Navy, August 14, 2014 (translated)


Click here to read the full speech in the original Filipino.

“That's something we are so happy about. This economic growth is a result of good governance and the initial dividends of the Mindanao peace process.”


- Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), on good governance and how it helped boost ARMM's economy


Click here to read the full article.

“We believe that the Philippines is destined for a bright future ahead. In fact, in the past few years, we saw a lot of progress. And if the demographic transition is capitalized well, the Philippines will be a bright star in Asia.”


- HSBC Economist Trinh Nguyen on the Philippines' growing economy


Click here to read the full article.  

insert alt text

Photo from Harper’s Pictorial History of the War with Spain, Vol. II—Raising the American flag over Fort Santiago, Manila, on the evening of August 13, 1898.



On August 13, 1898, the Mock Battle of Manila ended with the Spaniards surrendering to the Americans. The battle was meant to keep Manila from falling to the hands of the Philippine Revolutionary forces led by Emilio Aguinaldo.

AUGUST 13, 2014
Daylight - Good news about the Philippines and Pinoys

Ngayong Buwan ng Wika 2014, ibinabandera ng Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) ang halaga ng wikang Filipino bilang wikang nagbubuklod sa bansa. Filipino: Wika ng Pagkakaisa ang tema ng pagdiriwang ngayong taon na magtatampok ng mga gawaing pangwika at pangkultura na pangungunahan ng KWF sa buong bansa.




Growth of Philippine merchandise in June 2014, making the country the top export performer among selected East and Southeast Asian economies. According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, this is the sector's best performance since the economy started posting continuous positive growth in the same period last year.


Click here to read more. 

P7.68 billion


Amount the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released to the National Electrification Administration to energize rural communities throughout the country. The DBM said that as of June 30, 2014, a total of 16,467 sitios have been energized through the Sitio Electrification Project (SEP), while the Barangay Line Enhancement Project (BLEP) has benefitted 436 barangays since 2011.


Click here to read more.


Number of new kindergarten classroom buildings the Department of Education has built in Negros Oriental through the help of Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa (AGAPP) Foundation, and Asian Development Bank-Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (ADB-JFPR).

Click here to read more.




"A new generation will take on the challenge not to let Ninoy and Cory down, and our people down; and to live up to the best ideals of our people—to ensure that there will always be those prepared to demonstrate that the Filipino is worth fighting for."


- President Benigno S. Aquino III, in a speech at the Corazon Aquino Special Commemorative Exhibit, August 4, 2014


Click here to read the full speech. 

“Today, this resolute determination has paid off, the long arm of the law has finally reached Mr. Palparan. President Aquino promised that those who evade the law will be found. That promise to capture General Palparan has been fulfilled today.”


- Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on the capture of Jovito Palparan


Click here to read more.

The Heritage City of Vigan has qualified as one of the 21 finalists in the search for the New7Wonders Cities of the World. The public is enjoined to cast their votes online, or through phone or SMS, to make Vigan one of the seven cities to win the title.


Click here to learn more. 


(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress.)



On August 8, 1901, the Philippine Constabulary was established as the national police service. It is now known as the Philippine National Police.


Photo: Two members of the Philippine Constabulary posing for the New York Tribune, 1905.


August 5, 2014

Palace urged to proclaim daylight-saving time

To brace PH for looming power emergency


         Malacañang has been urged to declare the use of daylight-saving time (DST) starting November this year to January 2015, and then from March to June next year, so as to brace the country for a looming power emergency that is bound to cause recurring outages.


         In House Resolution 1334, House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty strongly urged the Palace to proclaim the observance of DST over the seven-month period “in order to significantly conserve energy” ahead of the Luzon grid’s projected 400 to 1,000 megawatt (MW) power supply shortage between March to June 2015.


         “This early, it has become absolutely imperative for the country to adopt highly aggressive but practical energy demand management strategies,” Ty said.


         DST “saves” daylight by advancing, usually by one hour, the official standard time. Filipinos would have to wake up an hour earlier than usual. But they would also leave work or school an hour earlier than customary.


         A 1936 law authorizes the President of the Philippines to proclaim the resort to DST, “when the public interest so requires,” for a cumulative period not exceeding seven months each year, according to Ty.


         He was referring to Commonwealth Act No. 91 -- An Act Fixing the Standard Time of the Philippines, and Authorizing the President of the Philippines to Establish a Daylight-Savings Time.


         “DST has been proven to be effective in reducing energy consumption. In fact, many countries are already on DST mode for several months of the year,” Ty said.


         He cited the case of the United States, which goes on DST mode every year from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.


         “DST works in such a way that the more days we are in DST mode, the greater the energy saved over time,” he added.


         Ty urged Malacañang to consult with business sector, including the airline industry, which would have to adjust to DST.


         Once on DST mode, businesses would have to recalibrate devices such as time clocks, security systems and timed safes. Even traffic lights may have to be reprogrammed to properly recognize rush hour.


         DST was last proclaimed during the Ramos administration, when the country was reeling from a crippling power crisis.


         In view of the approaching power crunch, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla previously urged President Benigno Aquino III invoke Section 71 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.


         Section 71 states that: “Upon determination of the President of the Philippines of an imminent shortage of the supply of electricity, Congress may authorize, through a joint resolution, the establishment of additional generating capacity under such terms and conditions as it may approve.”


         Thus far, the President has been silent on Petilla’s recommendation.


         Instead, in his State of the Nation Address last week, the President ordered Petilla to confer with the Joint Congressional Power Commission and the Energy Regulatory Commission as well industry players and consumers, for the purpose of finding ways to deal with the impending exigency.


         Under Commonwealth Act No. 91, “the President of the Philippines may, when the public interest so requires, and at any time or times, within the periods from March to June and from November to January, all inclusive, establish, by proclamation, a daylight saving time, by advancing by one hour, on such date as he shall determine, the standard time herein fixed, and by retarding such daylight saving time by another hour or such other date as he shall determine, so that during certain periods of the year, as above indicated, the standard time be one hour advance of the mean astronomical time at one hundred and twenty degrees East Longitude, Greenwich Meridian. The President shall, in such proclamation, fix the date and hour when such daylight saving time shall commence and terminate.”


         The 1936 law further provides that: “The standard time of the daylight saving time herein established shall govern the movement of all common carrier. In all statutes, order, rules and regulations relating to the time of performance of an act by any officer or department of the Government, or relating to the time within which any right shall accrue or determine, or within which any act shall or shall not be performed by any person in the Philippines, it shall be understood that the time shall be the standard or the daylight saving time as herein established, as the case may be.”


         Meanwhile, Ty warned that the threat of rotating brownouts next summer “could render residential, commercial and industrial consumers highly vulnerable to electricity price hikes, as supply becomes severely short of demand.”


         Ty speaks for the House minority, and represents the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) in Congress.


         LPG-MA has been batting for stronger government supervision of all energy markets, so as to reinforce consumer protection against potentially unfair trade practices and pricing abuses.


         Ty cited the need for adequate remedial measures to avert the forthcoming outages, which he said could jeopardize the country’s ability to attract incremental investments and create new employment.


         “We risk dampening economic activity plus unwanted job losses the moment we start staggering from outages, so we have to prepare this early for coping strategies,” he said.               


         Due to economic expansion, Petilla sees Luzon’s power demand hitting 9,011 MW in 2015 versus 8,717 MW this year, with extremely limited or zero supply reserves in place, particularly during the dry months, when dams producing electricity tend to recede.


         The power supply-demand shortfall will be aggravated by the scheduled maintenance shutdown next summer of The Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project, which drives some of Luzon’s largest power generators.


         Unscheduled repairs on a number of power plants could further worsen the supply deficiency.

July 13, 2014

P50M fine pushed for bad Internet access service

Universal broadband service eyed


       Amid widespread consumer complaints of slow ‘high-speed’ Internet access as well as recurring blocked or dropped mobile phone voice calls, House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty is batting for an administrative fine of up to P50 million for telecommunications companies (telcos) that fail to comply with directives to improve their services.


       “We are pushing for new legislation that will revise and update the financial punishment that regulators may impose on telcos that are unable to live up to mandatory quality of service standards,” Ty said.


       At present, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) may exact a fine of only up to P200 per day on telcos offering services that do not meet quality benchmarks. The amount is based on a 78-year-old law, the Public Service Act of 1936.


       As a result, Ty said telcos would rather risk paying the paltry fine, than upgrade their services.


       “There are bills seeking to raise the maximum fine to any amount, as may be deemed appropriate by the NTC, provided it shall not exceed P50 million,” he said.


       Ty cited the State’s duty, under The Consumer Act of 1992, to protect the interest of consumers, including mobile phone and broadband subscribers, promote their general welfare, and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry.


       Meanwhile, Ty favors the classification of broadband or high-speed Internet access as a “basic service,” along with voice calls and text messaging.


       “We are pushing for universal broadband service. Government’s goal should be to ensure that all citizens have access to high-speed Internet service at a fair price,” he said.


       Ty stressed the need to renew the country’s telecommunications laws “to make them highly responsive to rapidly evolving new technologies.”


       “In the case of broadband, we have to enable the NTC to push for greater public access to the service via minimum quality standards and reasonable user rates,” he added.


       At present, broadband is being treated as a value-added service, meaning its speed and price are supposed to be dictated by the free market.


       At a recent Senate hearing, Sen. Loren Legarda berated officials of telcos for their unreliable broadband services.


       “As we speak, there is no Internet (access) in my office. Internet (access) is either absent or excruciatingly low, which is so frustrating. I don’t like high-tech answers, please. Gusto ko maintindihan. Ang mahal ng singil, bakit ganon?” Legarda complained.


       The telcos attributed the problem to severe congestion in service areas with high concentrations of broadband users.


       Ty for his part previously filed House Resolution 186, demanding a congressional inquiry into the deteriorating services of telcos.


       He noted that a growing number of consumer complaints received by the NTC pertain to blocked calls (denied access by the network), dropped calls (involuntarily disconnected), delayed call set-up, inadequate reception, and deficient broadband services.


       Besides poor signal quality, wherein voice transmission in an ongoing call becomes choppy or garbled, Ty also cited complaints that it takes a long time for subscribers to get the first ring after dialing a called party.


       “The degraded services may be due to extreme congestion. It would appear that telcos have been taking on an incremental number of subscribers every quarter, without building up their networks fast enough, their huge earnings notwithstanding,” Ty said.

July 9, 2014
Daylight - Good news about the Philippines and Pinoys

President Benigno S. Aquino III celebrated with the Philippine Air Force on their 67th anniversary.

Click here to read/watch the President's speech.



insert alt text

Number of international visitors to the Philippines for the first 5 months of 2014. This figure posted a 2.47% growth compared to the same months in 2013, with registered arrivals of 2,011,520.


Data from the Department of Tourism.

P2.36 billion

Amount spent by the Department of Public Works and Highways to complete the construction of 440.14 kilometers of farm-to-market roads across the country. With the completed projects, DPWH now has accomplished 85% of the needed road projects for the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project - Phase 3, which is expected to be completed within the year.


Click here to read more.

P1.73 billion

Amount the Department of Budget and Management released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to implement water supply projects nationwide. According to Secretary of Budget and Management Florencio B. Abad, the Tourism Water Supply Infrastructure program—a convergence project between the DPWH and the Department of Tourism —was also designed to spur tourism and economic activity in identified priority development sites.


Click here to read more.


"It is not impossible for us to have a government that truly looks after the welfare of our countrymen. We have achieved so much, because we chose to tread the straight and righteous path towards peace and progress. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I am but honored to lead a nation that works towards what is right, and constantly demonstrates to the world that no challenge can outmatch our unified purpose as a people."


- President Benigno S. Aquino III, in a speech during the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, July 1, 2014


Click here to read the full speech of the President.

“Over the past six decades since the restoration of our Republic, we have tried to realize this promise of nationhood—going through four constitutions, witnessing eleven presidencies, and constantly striving to empower our fellowmen, so that they may enjoy the fullest measure of their rights, as well as fulfill their obligations to our nation as responsive, honest, and productive citizens.”


-Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail F. Valte, in a statement on the celebration of Republic Day, July 4, 2014


Click here to read more. 

“The economy is well positioned for a tighter monetary policy setting, together with a needed rebalancing of the policy mix towards an expansionary fiscal policy to accommodate fiscal spending for post typhoon reconstruction and infrastructure upgrading.”


- Shanaka Jayanath Peiris, International Monetary Fund Resident Representative to the Philippines, on the Philippines’ economy


Click here to read the full article.

insert alt text

This photo from A Republic is Born shows the Philippine and American flags over the Independence Grandstand. This photo was digitally colored by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO).


Click here to view previous digital colorization efforts.


Click here to learn more about Republic Day.



On July 4, 1946, the United States formally recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines. This was the culmination of the process that began in 1916, when the Jones Law pledged the eventual recognition of Philippine independence, and the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1933, which provided for a ten-year transitional period to prepare for independence. The independence of the Philippines was marked by Manuel Roxas retaking his oath as President of the Philippines, eliminating the pledge of allegiance to the United States required prior to independence. Independence thereafter was celebrated on July 4 of every year until 1962.

JULY 2, 2014

Daylight - Good news about the Philippines and Pinoys


President Benigno S. Aquino III sends his greetings to the Muslim Filipino community as they celebrate the fasting month of Ramadhan.


Click here for the President's activities this week.


P62 million

Amount spent for various community peace projects that are now benefiting families in conflict-affected towns in Central Mindanao. Funded  by the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) Project of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the projects are part of the government’s peacebuilding and development efforts in in the region.

Click here to read more.

P11.8 billion

The national government’s fiscal surplus for the month of May—a result of rapid growth of total revenues and tax revenues. This brought the January-May fiscal balance at a surplus of P8.5 billion, a reversal of the P42.8 billion deficit over the same period last year.


Click here to read more.

P554.4 million

Amount released by the Department of Budget and Management to the Tourism Promotions Board for the implementation of its marketing and promotional activities. This is in line with the Aquino Administration’s efforts to turn the Philippines into one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Click here to read more.




“'Does this redound to the common good?' I find that no matter how complex or convoluted the situation, asking myself this question illuminates the path I must take—a path that would allow me to do what is right, uphold justice, and help my countrymen, not just sometimes, but all the time.”


- President Benigno S. Aquino III, in a speech at the 123rd founding anniversary of the Philippine Bar Association, June 26, 2014


Click here to read the full speech of the President.

“Passenger convenience is of course always a concern, so we hope this helps riders somewhat in their daily commute by reducing their queuing time and taking them to their destinations faster.”


- Secretary of Transportation and Communications Joseph Emilio A. Abaya on the MRT-3 deploying more trains to serve 2,364 more riders per hour


Click here to read more.

“I am confident that through our reformed justice system using the intensified conciliation-mediation as a means to resolve labor conflict, we will be able to settle and dispose more labor cases that can boost sustainable industrial peace in our country.”


- Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz on the five-year agreement between Capitol Medical and workers, which involves a P3.1-million benefit package


Click here to read more.

Standing behind him, FROM LEFT: newspaper publisher and editor Manuel Manahan, Jose F. Imperial, Erasmo R. Cruz, Solomon V. Arnaldo, and Pedro Lopez.


(Photo courtesy of the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation)



“I came to San Francisco starry-eyed, believing that we were going to form an organization that was the culmination of all my dreams.”


On June 26, 1945, General Carlos P. Romulo signed the historic United Nations Charter as chairman of the delegation from the Philippine Commonwealth.


Carlos P. Romulo, noted Filipino statesman, served in varying capacities under eight Philippine presidents. Milestones in his long and distinguished diplomatic career include his tenure as Secretary of Foreign Affairs under Presidents Quirino, Macapagal, and Marcos, and his term as the president of the 4th General Assembly of the United Nations in 1949.

Daylight - Good news about the Philippines and Pinoys

On June 24, the President went on a one-day working visit to Japan, where he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and spoke at the International Conference on the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao. 


Click here to learn more about the President's trip.


Click here for the President's schedule for the rest of this week.


P43 billion

Amount allotted for the National Community Driven Development Program, a poverty-eradication program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that aims to give development funds to poor municipalities, with barangay councils having the discretion to choose projects.


Click here to read more about the DSWD's major poverty-alleviation initiatives.

$2.124 billion

Amount of personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers in April 2014. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, this amount is 5.2% higher than last month’s $2.09 billion. This 5.2% growth brought the four-month tally to $8.209 billion.


Click here to read the press release from BSP.

Around 100,000

Number of beneficiaries of the Department of Education's and the Australian government’s Philippines’ Response to Indigenous Peoples’ and Muslim Education (PRIME) project. According to DepEd, PRIME's beneficiaries include indigenous and muslim learners in nine regions throughout the country. 


Click here to learn more about the program.



"Whenever it seems that the path to peace is filled with so many obstacles, when our spirits are tested and our faith in the processes are shaken, those of us who are in a position to make decisions must remember what happened here in Hiroshima, and in Nagasaki, and in the many places that have faced and are now experiencing conflict: If we falter, it is the innocent who will pay the ultimate price."


- President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his speech at the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s International Conference on the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao, held in Hiroshima, Japan, June 24, 2014


Click here to read the speech of the President.

"Both Japan and the Philippines share universal values and between us there is a strategic partnership"


- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the bilateral relations of the Philippines and Japan


Click here for a video of Prime Minister Abe's statement and President Aquino's response.


“The partnership between the MILF and the government continues to blossom into a feast of possibilities that continues to excite our neighbors in Asia and beyond. The global community is furthermore in awe and admiration of the strong flank of Filipino women at the forefront of the Bangsamoro peace process.”


- Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Q. Deles, in her speech at the 6th Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao in Japan, held on June 23, 2014


Click here to read the full speech.



Last, June 19, we marked the 153rd birth anniversary of Jose Rizal. 


Last year we celebrated the centennial of the Rizal Monument in Luneta. Read more about it.

Today at 11:02 AM

News Release

Office of LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, House Deputy Minority Leader

Room 607 South Wing, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel No. 931-5144


June 12, 2014


PH’s power reserves critically low, warns solon

‘Fragile’ electricity supply seen threatening investments, jobs


       The country’s power supplies are now “critically low” and the lack of “energy security” could discourage new investors and dampen jobs creation in the months ahead, House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty warned Thursday.


       “Our flimsy power reserve margins suggest that all three grids – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – are easily vulnerable to increasing outages during extreme high demand,” Ty said.


       “The menace of potentially escalating outages has also made residential, commercial and industrial consumers highly susceptible to electricity price hikes, as supply becomes severely short of demand,” the lawmaker said.


       Ty speaks for the House minority, and represents the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) in Congress.


       LPG-MA has been batting for stronger government supervision of all energy markets, so as to reinforce consumer protection against potentially unfair trade practices and pricing abuses.


       “Should a large power generator suddenly conk out, Luzon could lurch from supply disruptions,” Ty warned.


       “In fact, Luzon would have started to stagger from outages as early as May, had the Department of Energy not prevailed upon some generating companies to defer the maintenance shutdown of their facilities (to this month),” he said.


       In the Visayas, Ty said power reserves are hovering near zero, while Mindanao continues to wobble from recurring outages.


       Based on the “power situation outlook” of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines as of June 10, the Luzon grid has an available capacity of 8,816 megawatts (MW) versus system peak demand of 7,884 MW, for a gross reserve of only 932 MW, or just 10 percent.


       The Visayas grid has a capacity of 1,646 MW against peak demand of 1,566 MW, for a gross reserve of just 80 MW, or less than five percent.


       Meanwhile, the Mindanao grid’s 1,252-MW capacity is five percent or 61-MW short of the 1,313-MW peak demand.


       “Two years ago, except for Mindanao, we had double these reserve margins,” Ty pointed out.


       He stressed the need adequate power reserves to keep all three grids functioning in cases of extreme high demand.


       “Current reserve margins are precarious, and imply that our supplies of electricity across all three grids have become unreliable,” he added.


       Power reserves refer to extra capacity immediately available to the system to meet demand in case a generator goes down, or there is another disruption to supply.


       Most power systems around the world are designed so that, under normal conditions, the reserve is always at least equal to the capacity of the largest generator plus a fraction of peak demand.


       Ty warned that the “fragile” power supply, if left unchecked, could jeopardize the country’s ability to attract more investments and create badly needed new jobs.


       “In fact, we risk dampening economic activity and possible job losses the moment we start experiencing increasing outages,” he said.


       “Government has to reassure investors that no effort is being spared to address both our short-term and our long-term power supply requirements,” Ty said.


May 13, 2014
The Philippines gets a new credit rating upgrade 
Click:  4 37 50 pm vic billones usa jolly good fellows corner | katropa

Room 607 South Wing, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel No. 931-5144


May 4, 2014

Meralco owners hit for P7.3B bonus

While slapping consumers with higher electricity rates


       House Deputy Minority Leader Arnel Ty has berated the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) for rewarding shareholders another P7.3 billion in cash dividends, while slapping customers with higher power rates.


       “This is the height of callousness – for Meralco to be paying out even more cash bonuses to a few stockholders, while constantly jacking up electricity rates at the expense of 5.4 million consumers,” Ty said.


       Meralco is distributing the cash bonus to shareholders this week, days after the company warned consumers to brace themselves for elevated electricity charges this month due to increased demand amid the summer heat, according to Ty.


       Ty speaks for the minority bloc in the House committee on energy, and represents the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) in Congress.


       LPG-MA has been batting for stronger government supervision of the LPG sector and all energy markets, so as to reinforce consumer protection against potentially unfair trade practices and pricing abuses.


       Both Meralco and the Energy Regulatory Board earlier indicated that electricity rates this month could go up anywhere from “less than P1.00 to as much as P1.72 per kilowatt-hour (kwh).”


       The increase is on top of the P0.89 per kwh increase in the April billings of Meralco customers.


       Based on a Philippine Stock Exchange filing, Meralco will pay shareholders a regular dividend of P3.45 per share, plus a special dividend of P3.00 per share, or a total of P6.45 per share, on May 8. The company has 1,127,271,117 outstanding shares.


       Ty also scolded Meralco for paying shareholders incremental dividends, even before the company completes the two mandatory customer refunds.


       He was referring to the return to customers of some P3.7-billion worth of meter deposits and previous overcharges.


       “At the rate Meralco has been paying dividends to shareholders, the company obviously has a very large pile of cash, some of which could be readily used to immediately satisfy the refunds. Yet, the company seems to be dilly-dallying in fulfilling the refunds,” Ty said.


       The extra dividends that Meralco is paying shareholders this week means that the company will have paid some P47 billion in cumulative cash bonuses to its owners since 2009.


       The hefty dividends came from Meralco’s huge annual net profits amounting to P17.273 billion in 2013; P17.016 billion in 2012; P13.227 billion in 2011; P9.685 billion in 2010; P6.005 billion in 2009; and P2.800 billion in 2008.


       Although the nation’s largest distribution utility has more than 47,000 shareholders, including small investors, nearly one-half of the cash dividends that Meralco pays out actually goes to controlling owner Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc.


       Beacon is in turn owned by Metro Pacific Investments Corp., a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Holdings Inc., the Philippine unit of First Pacific Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong.


       Meralco’s board of directors has adopted a policy to return to its shareholders by way of cash dividends “at least 50 percent and up to 70 percent” of its annual earnings.


       A previous research study by the independent think-tank International Energy Consultants ranked Meralco’s electricity rates as the world’s ninth-highest and the second-highest in Asia.

Press Statement

REP. GERALD ANTHONY V. GULLAS JR. (First District of Cebu)

Assistant Majority Leader


April 27, 2014


Cebu rated world’s 8th best outsourcing destination


        A leading U.S.-based services globalization and investment advisory firm, Tholons Inc., has rated Cebu among the world’s top outsourcing destinations, beating other high-profile locations in Europe.


        House Assistant Majority Leader and Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. said the 2014 Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations ranks Cebu as the world’s eight-best, after Bangalore, Metro Manila, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.


        “Cebu’s reputation as a prime world-class outsourcing hub will get an even bigger boost once the Mactan Newtown is fully developed,” Gullas said.


        Gullas was referring to the 28.8-hectare special information-technology (IT) park and economic zone being built by publicly listed Megaworld Corp. as a “live-work-play” community in Cebu’s Lapu-Lapu City.


        “Cebu has all the building blocks needed to rapidly grow as an outsourcing hub. Besides the policy environment and fiscal incentives, we have the required college-educated human resources and infrastructure, including advanced connectivity,” Gullas said.


        “It is also easier to live, work and play in Cebu, where there is less congestion and stress. The costs of living and doing business in Cebu are likewise lower compared to Metro Manila and other global outsourcing sites,” he pointed out.


        Gullas said Cebu and Metro Manila were the only Philippine spots in the top 10 of the 2014 Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations, where the national capital region ranked No. 2


        The top 10 was dominated by six metropolitan districts in India. Poland’s Krakow ranked No. 9, while Ireland’s Dublin was No. 10.


        The Tholons rankings are based on a rigorous location screening framework, and regarded by industry stakeholders as the best grading of global outsourcing hubs.

        Once fully developed, business process outsourcing (BPO) firms based at the P20-billion Mactan Newtown are expected to directly engage some 45,000 knowledge workers.


        Mactan Newtown’s first office tower has already been fully leased by Diamond Bar, California-based Enfrasoft Inc. and Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based The Results Companies.


        Without counting Mactan Newtown, Cebu now has 25 fully functional IT parks, plus 12 more being developed, providing plenty of high-tech office spaces to BPO firms, Gullas said.


        Accenture Inc., Convergys Philippines Services Corp., TeleTech Customer Care Management Philippines Inc., JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.-Philippine Global Service Center, Stream International Global Services Philippines Inc., IBM Corp., Sykes Asia Inc., Aegis PeopleSupport Inc., NCR Cebu Development Center Inc., and Wipro BPO Philippines Ltd. Inc. are among the multinational firms with extensive BPO activities in Cebu.


        BPO firms in Central Visayas -- mostly in Cebu and partly in Negros Oriental -- already employ over 100,000 full-time workers, and yield more than $500 million in annual revenues.


        The country’s BPO and IT-enabled services industry encompasses contact center services; back offices; medical, legal and other data transcription; animation; software development; engineering design; and digital content.


        According to the IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines, the industry is expected to add some 372,000 new jobs from 2014 to 2016.


        A large supply of college-educated, fluent English-speaking professionals has been a key growth driver of the BPO sector, which is projected to fully employ some 1.3 million Filipinos and generate up to $27 billion in annual revenues by 2016.


        Gullas is author of a bill seeking to reinforce the use of English in all school levels, in a bid to make the nation’s future human resources highly competitive in the global labor markets.

April 16, 2014
Apr 14 at 5:43 

Vol. IV No. 10

April 14, 2014

Daylight - Good news about the Philippines and Pinoys

The Deputy Presidential Spokesperson on the President's activities for the week


The President began the week with the PNP Command Conference held in Camp Crame this morning, among others, to ensure that the Holy Week holidays are orderly and peaceful. Apart from the other engagements in the President’s schedule, he will also spend the week monitoring the preparations and actions of concerned government agencies in light of the upcoming holidays.


Meralco urged to credit P2.1B meter deposit refund to April customer bills

Office of LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, House Deputy Minority Leader

Room 607 South Wing, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel No. 931-5144


April 13, 2014


Meralco urged to credit P2.1B meter deposit refund to April customer bills

To cushion sting of P0.89/kwh April hike in electricity rates


       To soften the sting of higher electricity rates, a senior member of Congress has urged the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to automatically credit some P2.138-billion worth of meter deposit refunds to the April bills of customers.                




APRIL 10, 2014
CITY OF MALOLOS – Almost 7,000 job vacancies opened its doors for Bulakenyos during the recently concluded Trabaho para sa Bulakenyo Job Fair for local and overseas employment initiated by the Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB) through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium on April 8, 2014.



CITY OF MALOLOS- The Provincial Government of Bulacan in cooperation with the March for Jesus Philippines and Four Pillars of Bulacan will hold the March for faith, Walk for Jesus Christ on April 12, 5:30 in the morning.



Office of Rep. Roman T. Romulo (Lone district of Pasig City)

Chairman, House committee on higher and technical education

312 South Wing Annex, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel No. 931-6283


April 4, 2014

Top schools for doctors named


          The House committee on higher and technical education has credited the nation’s leading schools for doctors of medicine, based on the outstanding performance of their graduates in the last two Physician Licensure Examinations administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).




Office of Rep. Roman T. Romulo (Lone district of Pasig City)

Chairman, House committee on higher and technical education

312 South Wing Annex, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel No. 931-6283


April 2, 2014

2 schools cited for strong showing of pharmacy grads


March 31, 2014
2, special April 2, special non-working day in Bulacan


MALOLOS CITY – As a tribute to the “Prince of Tagalog Poets”, Malacañang has declared Wednesday, April 2, 2014 as a special (non-working) day in the province of Bulacan in observance of the 226th birth anniversary of Gat Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar.


March 30, 2014


Office of Rep. Roman T. Romulo (Lone district of Pasig City)

Chairman, House committee on higher and technical education

312 South Wing Annex, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel. No. 4424399


March 30, 2014

Improved instruction more urgent than school calendar shift,

says Romulo