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  • Congress can touch only 36% of 2015 budget         The chairman of the House appropriations committee said yesterday that the proposed national budget for next year may be in the trillions, but Congress can touch only about a third of it. Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab said that the bigger part or two-thirds is in the form of mandatory appropriations like those for debt payments, salaries and internal revenue allotment (IRA) representing the share of local government units in national taxes. He added: “The P2.606-trillion expenditure budget for 2015 appears to be huge at face value. However, stripped of the virtually mandatory items amounting to P1.668 trillion or 64% of the total budget, only about 36% or P937.5 billion may be the subject of congressional debate.”  
  • $20Bn worth of projects, 50 infra plans target European investors   The Philippines is set to showcase over 50 major infrastructure projects under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme worth $20 billion during the ongoing four-nation official tour of President Aquino in Europe. PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said the PPP projects would be presented to European investors during the visit of President Aquino to Spain, Belgium, France, and Germany from Sept. 13 to 20.  Ms. Canilao said: “This is a huge opportunity for the Philippines to pitch our PPP infra projects and let European investors know that we have built up a major deal flow which they can participate in. Our investment climate is ripe for investors to bring their business to the Philippines.” She cited the investment grade given to the Philippines by major credit rating agencies led by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings.

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