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Philippine News Digest 81

September 15, 2006 · 

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Contents:
1. The World Bank smells corruption.

2. US govt donates $35,000 for antitrafficking drive.

3. Children Propose Plans for Safe IT Campaign

The World Bank smells corruption
The Manila Times, September 13, 2006

The managing director of the World Bank, Juan Jose Daboub, was being polite when he said it is “really puzzling” how the Philippines could not be experiencing the levels of growth and poverty reduction enjoyed by its neighbors.

“How can this be, given your country’s well-educated population, lots of entrepreneurial talent, abundant natural resources, vibrant private sector, incredibly active civil society, including a free press, and strategic location in one of the world’s fastest growing regions?”

Daboub gave the answer himself. Foreign investors—and we add moneyed Filipinos who could very well afford to invest—are deterred from investing in the Philippines by “macroeconomic instability and corruption.” He got this answer from a joint World Bank-Asian Development survey. And the investment arm of the World Bank, the International Finance Corp.—in the latest of its annual survey of how 175 countries have carried out reforms in making their business climate conducive to doing business—has downgraded the Philippines from 121st place last year to 126th place today.

US govt donates $35,000 for antitrafficking drive
The Manila Times, September 13, 2006

THE National Bureau of Investigation will receive a $34,930 grant from the US government to its support efforts to curb human trafficking, Kristie Kenney, US ambassador to the Philippines, said Tuesday, the ABS-CBN news website reported.

“Trafficking in persons preys on the most vulnerable members of our society. That’s why it’s important that we work together to provide protection for victims and prosecute those who are guilty,” Kenney said at the signing of the grant.

She said the grant will purchase basic office equipment for the NBI’s antihuman trafficking division and a vehicle to transport victims to safe houses.

In June Kenney also gave a $179,000 grant to the Visayan Forum Foundation in Davao to help expand halfway house operations for victims of white slavery.

Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez, who witnessed the signing of the grant, said the additional fund would be used to support investigations on trafficking offenses. –ABS-CBN interactive

Children Propose Plans for Safe IT Campaign
The Philippine Star, Friday, Sept. 1, 2006

Children and young people coming from the Philippines converged in Manila during the “National Consultation of Children and Young People Against Child Pornography” from Aug. 11 to 13, 2006 and came up with a national plan of action that articulates not only practicable action points that they would carry out in their campaign against child pornography, but also summarizes their appeal for support from among government, legislators, parents, adults , educators and other youth groups.

Seventy five children/young people who represented diverse backgrounds on the field were able to unite and commit to accomplish what they have agreed to do in their plan of action, among which are the following: Simultaneous Launching of the Make IT-Safe Campaign and maximizing the technology by creating and utilizing the World Wide Web through web development, e-groups, blogs, e-bulletins; text messaging; organizing for a and training for awareness and self regulation among internet cafe and lobbying government in order to legislate laws, policies, or ordinances like the issuance of the “IT Safe Certificates” among internet cafe operators, including prioritization of budget for children.

The national consultation was spearheaded by ECPAT Philippines, a non-government organization that aims to end child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes in coordination with UNICEF Manila. For more information about the Make IT-Safe Campaign of the young people, email at: itsafephil@yahoo.com

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