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PIA Press Release

PGMA approves Livelihood, Emergency Employment Program

Cebu City (November 7) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently approved the 'Cabinet Stewardship of Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program,' a pro-active measure intended to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that will be retrenched due to the global economic crisis.

Presidential Management Staff Assistant Secretary Ferdinand Cui yesterday told public information officers (PIOs) from the different provinces, cities and municipalities in Central Visayas during their 18th annual convention in Cebu City that a major repercussion of the global financial meltdown is the high possibility of retrenchment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as businesses abroad close shop or slow its production capacity due to the economic crisis.

In response to the situation, Pres. Arroyo has ordered the immediate implementation of the program and has assigned each of her cabinet secretaries per region to ensure that the program will be in place the soonest possible time, according to Cui.

Cui said all department heads were directed to draw up doable, pro-poor projects for immediate implementation, with middle, lower-middle and poorest families as beneficiaries.

Pres. Arroyo has given until today the deadline for the submission of the plan of actions and specific targets by each department, Cui said.

Cui however, said there still is no record yet of any retrenchment abroad.

One positive effect of the global financial crunch is that prices of oil in the world market continue to decline as the demand for oil worldwide has gone down, Cui claimed.

The global financial crisis that has hit the United States the most has driven factories to slow down its production volume decreasing energy demand as people are now afraid to spend rather allocating their money on basic necessities, this is said.

This year has seen dramatic increases in oil prices with gasoline breaching over P60/liter and diesel almost P60/liter that resulted to an increase in transport rates but lately, costs of oil per barrel in the world market continues to decline after the world market crashdown.

But the PMS official however, warned that this might just be temporary as prices of oil will still be determined by the law of supply and demand. "If the demand for oil is high, naturally energy prices will hike but if the demand for oil is low, oils costs will decrease."

Such viewpoint is shared by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as in its new major report, the Asian Development Outlook 2008 Update (ADO Update), it forecasts that the recent drop in oil price will be short lived and that the region's explosive growth will put further pressure on global oil supply and keep prices elevated above $100 a barrel until at least 2020.

The ADB report likewise stated that in a comprehensive study of the trajectory of future oil prices and the implications for developing Asia, it warns that Asia, as a net importer of primary energy, will be hit hard by a prolonged increase in the price of oil.

Cui said the Arroyo Administration is continuing ways to promote alternative fuels and renewable energy sources to lessen the country's dependence on imported fuel. Such existing works include the 500-hectare geothermal plantation in Nueva Ecija and another 500-hectare in Negros Oriental as well as a 300-hectare geothermal plantation in General Santos, Cui further said.

A 1-MW solar power source in Cagayan de Oro City has also become a pilot area benefiting 900 residential customers while the Galoc Oil Fields in Palawan has a very big potential for oil production, Cui reported.

In October 9, oil from the Galoc fields off Palawan started surging as Pres. Arroyo described the oil from the source as "light, medium crude oil, with potential high yield of light ends, such as gasoline," as reported in a news article.

Cui was one of the main resource speakers during the 18th Consultative Conference by the Regional Association of Development Information Officers (RADIO-7) held in Cebu City November 5-7. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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