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NEWS BRIEFS: Nov. 12, 2018

05:31 AM November 12, 2018

Palace eyes ways to lower rate of unemployment

Malacañang on Sunday assured that it was continuously looking for ways to bring down the unemployment rate amid a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that placed joblessness at 22 percent.

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Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the assurance following the SWS survey, which showed that joblessness increased by 2.3 points from the previous quarter.

“The Palace is seriously looking at the third quarter 2018 survey conducted by the SWS showing adult joblessness at 22 percent and is continuously finding ways to improve the local employment situation,” he said in a statement.

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Malacañang cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act.

Panelo said the law would streamline business processes and reduce processing time in government agencies to make the country more conducive to investments, “thereby creating more and better jobs for our people.” —Julie M. Aurelio

Duterte pal insists his group won bidding for 3rd telco

A telecommunications firm, which partnered with a consortium owned by one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s major campaign financiers, on Sunday insisted that it won the bidding for the provisional third telco in the country by the book.

In a statement, the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. (Mislatel) dismissed the claim of its losing competitor, a group led by powerful politician and businessman Luis “Chavit” Singson, that
it should be disqualified by the National Telecommunications Commission for breach of contract.

“Obviously, all these allegations against Mislatel is not only baseless, but is utterly malicious,” said John Coluso, the company’s lawyer.

“It was meant to cast aspersion not only on the bidding process itself, but on the [Duterte] administration’s commitment to provide our people a more efficient and more reliable telco service provider,” Coluso stressed.

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Mislatel was tapped by the group of businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and China Telecom, Beijing’s third biggest telco, as its telco franchise holder for the multibillion-peso project. —Marlon Ramos

Sandiganbayan junks 145 raps vs 3 Ampatuan coaccused

The Sandiganbayan has finally dismissed the 145 ghost project charges against three of former Maguindanao Gov. Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan’s coaccused, receiving confirmation years after their deaths.

In a two-page resolution dated Nov. 6, the court’s Sixth Division said the prosecution only confirmed the deaths of former provincial administrator Norie Unas, provincial engineer Landap Guinaid and bids and awards committee chair Kasan Macapendeg through an Oct. 17 report.

According to their death certificates, Unas, Macapendeg and Guinaid died on April 14, 2014, Dec. 13, 2015, and July 28, 2016, respectively.

But Ombudsman prosecutors still named the three as coaccused in the graft, malversation and falsification charges filed against Ampatuan in April 2017. —Vince F. Nonato

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TAGS: Chavit Singson, Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan, graft case, joblessness, Luis Singson, news briefs, Rodrigo Duterte, Sandiganbayan, SWS, third major telco firm, Unemployment
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