Saturday, 30 July 2011

PIA Dispatch - Saturday, July 30, 2011

Aquino condemns terrorism of Abu Sayaff

President Benigno S. Aquino III condemns the attack perpetrated by the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG) against government troops that resulted in the death of seven soldiers in Sulu last Thursday.

“Mark my words --- those of you who perpetrated this atrocity, know that you are now number one on my radar. It might take some time, but make no mistake about it: you will be brought to justice to answer for your crimes,” Aquino said in his statement on the death of seven soldiers in Patikul, Sulu during an encounter with ASG terrorists.

Aquino said, “I condemn these atrocities that are meant to put pressure on the peace process — to derail our efforts to counteract the causes of banditry, rebellion, and terrorism. Let me be very clear: those who want neither peace nor progress are the ones who perpetrated this dastardly act.”

The Chief Executive instructed Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to ensure that every possible aid and assistance is given to the families of slain soldiers.

Reports said seven soldiers were killed and several others were wounded in an encounter between the Marine Battalion Landing Team 11 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and elements of the Abu Sayaff early morning Thursday.

“I will be personally going to extend my sympathies and condole with the bereaved relatives of these brave soldiers. I will be letting them know that pursuit operations will go on, and we will not stop until all those involved are captured,” Aquino said.

As a tribute to the brave soldiers, Aquino assured that they will redouble their efforts to attain peace.

“I ask all our people to pause in silent tribute to the latest in the roster of selfless men and women who have given their utmost for our country,” he said. (JS)

Aquino vows to stop human trafficking in the country

President Benigno S. Aquino III vowed to put an end to human trafficking in the country as he led the recognition of groups and individuals fighting to stop trafficking in persons.

“Patuloy tayong magsusulong ng mga hakbangin na magpapabuti sa kalagayan at kaligtasan ng pinakamahalagang yaman ng ating bansa: ang taumbayan,” the President said at Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking Testimonial Dinner at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacañang Palace Friday (July 29).

The Chief Executive presented the Presidential Citation to Zamboanga City Assistant City Prosecutor Darlene Pajarito who was recently recognized by the US State Department as among the Global Trafficking in Persons Heroes for 2011. During the program, 12 organizations and individuals were awarded special citations for their efforts in battling human trafficking in the country.

The President noted that while there are Filipinos still leaving for abroad to seek greener pastures, he said his administration will not let human traffickers victimized them.

“Hindi natin hahayaan na manaig ang kalokohan ng mga mapang-abuso. Haharapin at lalabanan natin sila ng taas-noo. Kaya naman sa pamamagitan ng Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking lalo pang pinapagtibay ng gobyerno ang mga inisyatiba upang masigurong maiimbestigahan, mapo-prosecute, at ang pinakaimportante ay mako-convict ang lahat ng mga nang-aabuso sa ating mga kababayan sa loob at labas ng bansa,” he said.

The law against human trafficking will not be allowed to be corrupted by influential people, he said, adding that concerned government agencies have been instructed to work together to fight the menace.

The coordination between government agencies and non-government organizations have resulted to the removal of the Philippines from the Tier 2 Watch list of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the US government last month.

The report recognized the significant efforts being undertaken by the Philippine government to combat trafficking in persons such as the almost 200-percent increase in convictions of traffickers, including convictions for labor trafficking.

The country has started to made gains economically and President Aquino said in the near future no underage Filipinos will be allowed to leave the country to work and become victims of human traffickers.

“Tapos na po ang pang-aalipin sa mga Pilipino. Sa liwanag ng mabuting pamamahala, sama-sama at taas-noo nating tahakin ang matuwid na landas tungo sa mas mapayapa at mas maunlad na Pilipinas,” he continued.

Pajarito received a presidential citation from President Aquino for having the most number of successfully prosecuted and convicted human trafficking offenders.

The President recognized Pajarito’s steadfast dedication in her prosecutorial efforts to fight human trafficking in the country with the help of the different agencies, such as the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.

Pajarito was given the 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern Day Slavery Award by the US State Department, headed by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Washington, D.C., and is the only Filipino in the State Department’s 10 Trafficking-in-Person Heroes.

Others who received presidential recognition Friday include former Bureau of Immigration (BI) official Ronaldo Ledesma, BI legal head Arvin Santos, BI intelligence head Maria Antonette Mangrobang, NBI-AHTRAD head Dante Bonoan, and Ninoy Aquino International Airport general manager Jose Angelo Honrado.

Of the groups given presidential citations were the End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, International Justice Mission, Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. National Interagency Task Force Against Trafficking (NIATFAT), Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RAHTTR-7) of Cebu City, Sea Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) of Zamboanga City, Anti Human Trafficking Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-AHTRAD)

President Aquino signs Tetangco’s reappointment as governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Malacanang announced the signing of the appointment papers of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Amando Tetangco Jr. for a second six-year term in office by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

“Napirmahan na po ng Pangulong Aquino ang appointment papers ni Amando M. Tetangco Jr. bilang governor ng Monetary Board at ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas noong July 2,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte announced in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

Several business groups in the country asked the President to consider Tetangco’s reappointment because of his good stewardship at the BSP that helped the country economically.

Tetangco took up AB Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University where he graduated cum laude. After that, he took up graduate courses in business administration in the same university.

Tetangco also studied at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in the US, where he took his MA in Public Policy and Administration with concentration in Development Economics.

He became the BSP governor in July 2005 after serving as deputy governor in-charge of the banking services sector, economic research and treasury of the BSP.

Valte said the President also approved the appointment of Alfredo C. Antonio and Felipe M. Medalla to the BSP’s Monetary Board.

The president also designated Maria Josefina M. de la Cruz as the new postmaster-general and chief executive officer of the Philippine Postal Corporation. At the same time, Cesar N. Sarino was also appointed as a member of PhilPost’s board of directors with a term expiring on June 3, 2015.

Other appointments include Eufemio T. Rasco Jr., executive director Philippine Rice Research Institute (PRRI) and Teodoro C. Mendoza, board of trustees also of PRRI.

Aquino says government ready to support agencies that perform well

President Benigno Aquino III said his administration is ready to support agencies that perform well for the benefit of the people.

In a speech in Malacanang recognizing individuals and organizations that have been fighting human trafficking, the President said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported having spent 60 percent of its annual budget.

The President said he found that in the remaining five months of the year, the DSWD has only 41 percent of its total budget.

“Pero dahil talaga namang may performance, masinop naman po si Butch Abad ay hahanapan natin ng masasabi nating kailangang idagdag sa mga nagsisilbi sa taumbayan. Palagay ko hindi naman pagdaramutan ng ating mga kababayan ang mga nagmamalasakit kaya tulungan naman po natin,” the President said.

The chief executive also vowed to support and to reward those who are working hard under his leadership.

In a radio interview on Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Malacanang is proposing a huge allocation for social services and health care in the 2012 budget.

“Doon po kasi sa pino-propose po nating 2012 budget, if you look at the way we have allotted funds, pinakamataas po ulit yung doon sa social services,” she said, noting that the budget allocation for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has been increased from P34.3 billion this year to 49.4 billion to cover more beneficiaries by 2012.

PIA - Dispatch - Friday, July 29, 2011

Aquino says Palace drafting proposal for Freedom of Information Bill

Malacanang is in the process of drafting a Freedom of Information (FOI) bill that balances the interest of the government to withhold sensitive information and at the same time not curtail the right of the people to be informed, President Benigno Aquino III said.

“My administration is in the process of drafting, and suggesting, a Freedom of Information bill that we believe will balance legitimate needs for secrecy with the public’s right to know,” the President said in his speech speech during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Star newspaper in Makati City on Thursday.

“This right to know carries with it responsibilities—to use the information available in context; to present facts fairly; and to be conscious of some elements who may want to use the information not to inform the public, but to, rather, inflame them,” he added.

The Chief Executive said the Palace is carefully studying the details of such legislation in order to ensure that it serves the public interest without compromising it.

Malacanang is close to suggesting a legislation that balances the concerns of many stakeholders and at the same time truly empower the citizenry towards forming informed decisions, consistent with the Constitution, he said.

“Once this bill is passed into law, the media will have greater access to all kinds of sensitive information. It is incumbent on you to use this access carefully and responsibly,” the President said as he asked the media not to view his statement as an attack to free press.

According to the President, he believes that the press can continue strengthening its partnership with the people and with government to elevate the level of public discourse.

“Partnership does not mean that we want media to be lap dogs of government; at the same time, media shouldn’t allow themselves to be used as attack dogs either,” the President said adding that the media’s ultimate role is to be a watchdog of the government.

Last year, the House of Representatives failed to ratify the Freedom of Information bill because of the lack of a quorum to put the bill to a vote in the Lower House.

Malacanang maintains that pushing for the passage of the FOI bill is one of its top priorities, noting however that the President wants to ensure that the proposed law keeps a balance between providing information to the public, and at the same time protecting confidential government information.

Passing the FOI bill would concretize the President’s vision of stamping out government corruption by making the records of public transactions accessible to the public, especially to the press.

Aquino gov’t funds Rainfed Agriculture Program to boost food production

The Aquino administration is releasing P20 million through the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the third quarter of this year to fund a national rainfed program aimed at raising food production in more than one million hectares throughout the country.

DA has partnered with India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to carry out the Philippine Rainfed Agriculture Research and Development and Extension Program (PhiRARDEP).

DA will work on Rainfed Agricultural Research and Development through its staff bureaus, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), together with its Regional Field Units (RFU)- Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Centers (RIARCS), Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Centers (ATI-RTC) as well as selected State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

The department will be implementing programs based on India’s agricultural production experience and will train technicians who will help marginal farmers in raising their incomes.

PhiRARDEP’s components are rainfed farming innovation, community-based watershed management and soil conservation, policy formation and capacity building, the DA said.

Through a watershed approach that harnesses rainwater in check dams, sunken pits, and mini percolating tanks, farmers in India were able to plant many other crops like corn, sorghum, and pigeon pea.

While the Philippine government has poured majority of its funding and policy support for irrigated agriculture, rainfed areas have been neglected despite its huge contribution to food production.

It is estimated that half of the country’s food supply comes from rainfed areas and once the program becomes fully developed, production could be raised up to 60 to 70 percent.

Around 20 million Filipino farmers depend in rainfed areas to sustain their livelihood. This limits their income especially if they only focus on producing rice so the DA plans to introduce drought-resistant commodities to them.

The importance of a rainfed agriculture program is expected to intensify due to the manifestation of climate change which poses a threat of reduction of water supply for agriculture along with the increasing temperature or hotter climate.

In his state-of-the-nation address (SONA) this year, President Aquino said the government’s ability to increase rice production was a result of good governance, use of better rice varieties, and efficient irrigation spending.

As a result, the government was able to irrigate 11,611 new hectares of land this year, the President said.

“Ang gusto nating mangyari: Una, hindi tayo aangkat ng hindi kailangan, para lang punan ang bulsa ng mga gustong magsariling-diskarte ng kita sa agrikultura. Ikalawa: ayaw na nating umasa sa pag-angkat; ang isasaing ni Juan dela Cruz, dito ipupunla, dito aanihin, dito bibilhin,” he said.

Coloma addresses seminar of public relations practitioners in Quezon City

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. shared with public relations practitioners from various private businesses and companies the communication strategies of the government in imparting to the Filipino people the “good news” that the Aquino administration are implementing to effect change towards progress and development.

In his speech during the Second Module of the Public Relations Seminar of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) at the GMA Network Corporate Center in Quezon City on Friday, Coloma meticulously explained to the seminar participants the President’s methods of communicating with the citizenry, an important tool that will help in ensuring the people’s participation in nation-building.

Coloma defined the scope of work and duties of the government’s communication group.

“What is presidential communication? It is to assure the citizens that a transparent and efficient government is working for them…,” Coloma said.

“Its goals also include promoting fruitful communication between the President and the people and to inspire them to actively participate in nation-building,” he added.

The PCOO chief explained the process being used by the agency in encouraging people’s participation that begins with the President informing the citizens about what government is doing for them followed by his receiving feedback from the people. As a result, the people build a common ground for working together with government.

Coloma also shared to the participants attending the seminar some remarks from prominent newspaper columnists regarding the Chief Executive’s signature style of addressing the public.

In the column of Neal Cruz’s in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) on July 26, 2011, the simplicity and delivery of the President’s latest State of the Nation Address was cited.

He also likened President Aquino to a painter showing the present state of the country.

Another journalist, Conrado de Quiros also of the PDI, stated in his column, published on July 27, 2011, that the President’s SONA speech was one of the best he has ever heard. He said that President Aquino has become the best public speaker among the Presidents of the last half-century.

“It was one of the best speeches I’ve heard. First off, I don’t know how anyone can fail to realize how P-Noy has become the best public speaker among the Presidents of the last half-century. Better than Marcos, better than Erap, better than Cory, and certainly better than Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” De Quiros said noting the remarkable development of the President as a public speaker.

Secretary Coloma cited some of the projects that have been undertaken by the Aquino government namely, job generation: matching supply with demand, AFP modernization & housing for soldiers & police, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program: CCT, Synchronization of ARMM with national & local elections and Legislative priorities, among others.

The PRSP is the country’s premier organization for public relations professionals. In its roster are practitioners who represent business and industry, government, non-profit organizations, hospitals, schools, hotels and professional services among others.


Malacanang cites increase of tourist arrivals

Malacanang cited the continued influx of tourist arrival in the country which according to the Department of Tourism (DOT) has reached 1.6 million visitors from January to May 2011.

In a regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the DOT expressed optimism that it can meet the target of 3.74 million arrivals this year.

“From January to May, 2011, na meet ng DOT iyong target nila for the number of visitors, umakyat po ito ng1.6 million at on track na po sila para ma-meet ang annual target na 3.74 million visitors. Posting a 12-percent growth from the same period last year, 170,000 more visitors almost midway into the year,” she said.

Valte said DOT representatives had a meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday to present the Philippine National Tourism Development Plan for 2011-2016.

The 2011 State of the Nation Address (SONA) Technical Report said the continued growth in visitor volume is the result of sustained marketing and promotions efforts undertaken jointly by the public and private sectors in key source markets, such as attending to travel fairs, invitational programs and very selective advertising.

In 2010, visitor arrivals surpassed the 3.3 million target for the year reaching an all-time high of 3.52 million, 16.67% higher than the 2009 visitor arrivals of 3.01 million, according to the SONA Technical Report.

It was noted that in just the first year of the Aquino administration, a 15.60% increase in visitor arrivals was recorded from 3.2 million arrivals in the period July 2009-June 2010 to 3.7 million arrivals in the period July 2010-June 2011.

“More particularly, in the first six months of the Aquino Administration, visitor volume grew by 21%, faster than the first semester of 2010’s 12% growth. Total receipts from visitors increased by 11.3% from $2.24 billion in 2009 to $2.49 billion in 2010,” the report said.

The report added that the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) granted new permits to operate regular air services to Korean Airlines, Gulf Air, Continental Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, which are expected to provide weekly seat capacity of 12,090 from Korea, Bahrain, Guam, and Palau.

The CAB also granted permits to Jin Air, Jetstar Airways, Air Busan, Mandarin Airlines, Air Nippon Airways, and Jeju Air. These airlines are expected to bring in 1,498 and 2,265 tourists weekly from Japan and Korea, respectively.

The DOT further estimates that there will be an additional 37,623 potential Japanese tourists and 56,888 potential Korean tourists in the country with these additional seat capacities.

In 2010, Korean tourists accounted for the biggest chunk of visitor arrivals or 21.04% (740,622) while Japanese visitors accounted for 10.19% (358,744) of total tourist arrivals.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

PIA Dispatch - Thursday, July 28, 2011

Aquino underscores government's goal to improve lives of Filipinos

President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the government’s unrelenting effort to effect change to improve the lives of the citizentry as he likened it into a medical practitioner’s job of easing the pain and providing comfort to their patients.

In keynoting the opening ceremonies of the 2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Psychosocial Rehabilitation and 27th Post-Graduate Course and 22nd Mid-year Conference of the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA) at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City on Thursday, the Chief Executive noted the similarity of his duties to implement change in the government through the righteous path to that of the jobs of doctors to make life better for their patients.

“I do see that there are some similarities between your jobs and mine, in that we are both trying to mend damaging attitudes: you on an individual level, and us, on a national level…” the President said.

He acknowledged the goal of reassuring people that everyone counts in the society.

“I can acknowledge that the patients need all the help they can get to be supported, empowered and ultimately, to be allowed, to believe in themselves once again,” the President said.

“And so as President of this year’s host country of this conference, allow me to express my pride and honor to be around leading experts who have devoted their professional careers to make life better for all the patients mentally-ill,” he added.

President Aquino also shared his objective in reviving the confidence of every Filipino that there is every reason to hope once again.

“For the past years, our people had been mired in damaging pessimism – in the idea that government is not there to help them and that no matter how hard they work…things will not change. This is the attitude we seek to change,” the President stressed.

Despite the all-out efforts, the Chief Executive cited the fact that mindset cannot be changed overnight nor can it be achieved through empty words and mere rhetoric.

He stressed that the government is determined to empower the people and foster an environment where every Filipino can thrive.

Such steps, the President said, include the change in the system into one that is more capable of empowerment. A system that spares the people from the fatalism and crab mentality that for the longest time has stunted the nation’s progress.

President Aquino also bared the government’s investment in significant interventions and social services aimed at helping the most disadvantaged members of the society and in giving them the means to improve their standards of living.

He expressed gratitude to the WAPR-Philippines and the PPA for their support in making life better for the Filipinos as he assured the government’s support in every endeavor towards this aspiration.

“As you continue to treat people who might have difficulty finding hope in themselves and in the world, you can rest assured that we will continue to do our job as well… we will continue to give our people a reason to hope, and we will not allow their hopes to remain unfulfilled,” the President said.

The three-day event, with this year’s theme “Reaching the Unreached: Islands of Hope,” is in collaboration between the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and the PPA supported by the Department of Health.

It is focused in developing high awareness that the promotion of mental health is a crucial determinant to a person’s well-being, quality of life and hope.

This is only the second time that an international meeting on Psychosocial Rehabilitation is held in the Asia Pacific region, the first was held in Malaysia 20 years ago.

Also present during the conference were major medical stakeholders led by Health Secretary Enrique Ona, leaders, members and delegates of the WAPR-Philippines and PPA, representatives from the World Health Organization and medical practitioners.(PCOO) 

Malacañang set to issue AO on ARMM OIC screening committee

Malacanang on Thursday said it would soon begin deliberations on a draft Administration Order specifying individuals to a screening committee who will recommend to President Benigno S. Aquino III the OICs (officers-in-charge) who will temporarily govern over the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in preparation for the synchronized elections that will be held in 2013.

In his regular press conference in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the draft AO had just been completed and will soon be discussed by the Cabinet before it is approved by the President.

“Meron nang draft Administrative Order na nagawa so it is subject to discussion and approval by the President,” Lacierda said.

He added that drafting said AO took a back seat as the President and the rest of the Cabinet were immersed in preparing for the President’s State of the Nation Address last Monday, July 25.

“Remember all the Cabinet members were required to present their technical and accomplishment reports for the SONA, so that was given priority first,” Lacierda said.

President Aquino signed into law last June 30, Republic Act 10153 that provided the election of the next ARMM elections for the regional governor, vice governor and members of the regional legislative assembly to be held simultaneous with the midterm elections on the second Monday of May in 2013.(PCOO)

Palace says country must learn from 2004, 2007 alleged election fraud

The country must strive to put closure to the allegations of election cheatings in 2004 and 2007 so that it doesn’t repeat the same mistake, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

Lacierda made this statement in response to the criticism of some lawmakers who said the public must forget about the alleged 2004 and 2007 electoral fraud that put former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to power as well as some of her allies.

The President’s spokesman said the real purpose of the reopening of the investigation in the election anomaly is to discern what really happened during those electoral exercises.

“We should remember the past in order for us not to repeat the past (mistakes). That’s what we’re doing,” he said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday. “We’re coming up with the truth we’re discovering the truth, so that as a people and as a body politic we should not allow ourselves to repeat these illegal acts.”

Asked by reporters on how the government would be able to charge the former leader amid legal opinions saying the she can no longer be held accountable after she stepped down, Lacierda cited a theory inunciated by Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes.
“There’s a theory by Chairman Brillantes saying that the prescription has not started to run against the former president because she was enjoying presidential immunity while she was the sitting president. But it’s a theory of Brillantes and that remains to be resolved,” he said.

The idea is to show what really happened during the 2004 and 2007 elections Lacierda said, adding that recent revelations if ever they can be proven to be factual would help in resolving what really happened during those elections.

Lacierda noted that witnesses coming out to reveal what they know about the alleged cheatings show their confidence in the present administration.
As to whether the government can pin down the former leader, Lacierda said the important thing is that the government is able to discover the truth whether the elections of 2004 and 2007 were legitimately and properly conducted according to law.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have agreed to conduct a joint inquiry into the alleged electoral fraud. The Comelec said it would handle the criminal aspect that might come up in the joint investigation.

The joint inquiry would proceed even without the participation of former Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, believed to have had phone conversations with then President Arroyo to rig the 2004 election results.(PCOO)

Malacañang confident Pangilinan can effectively carry out reforms in BuCor

Malacanang said it is confident that retired Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan can effectively carry out major reform measures in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) after he was appointed director of the agency by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

“Well, primarily, it’s to reform the agency, iyon ang marching order sa kanya ng president. Ayusin iyong Bureau of Corrections. Iyong mga nakakapuslit, iyong mga bisita-bisita, iyong mga pag-alis-alis, iyon ang kailangang asikasuhin ni Mr. Pangilinan,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday.

Lacierda also defended Pangilinan’s qualifications as Bucor director saying the President believes that his expertise on counter-intelligence is something that could be used very well in reforming the agency.

Pangilinan, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class 1979, is the former commander of Northern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) based in Tarlac.

He replaced Ernesto Diokno who resigned at the height of the controversial handling of prisoners who were well-off going in and out of the New Bilibid Prisons without proper authorization, most notably the case of former Batangas governor Jose Antonio Leviste.

Malacanang said the President signed Pangilinan’s appointment July 19. He retired in the military service on July 25.(PCOO)

Malacañang says government agencies ready to implement contingency measures for next tropical cyclone

Malacanang announced on Thursday that concerned government agencies are ready to implement their contingency measures as another tropical cyclone is expected to enter the Philippines area of responsibility this Saturday.

In a regular news briefing in Malacanang on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are all ready to respond to the needs of the public in the event the tropical cyclone enters the country.

Once the tropical cyclone entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), it will be called Tropical Cyclone Kabayan or Bagyong Kabayan.

“The DSWD, DPWH and DILG po ay nakabantay na po diyan kung ano po ang expected weather forecast diyan ng PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration),” Lacierda said.

Malacanang said the PAGASA will continuously relay information to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and other concerned agencies.

President Benigno S. Aquino III earlier cited the reliability of the PAGASA, the country’s lead agency in monitoring, forecasting and warning of tropical weather systems.

The Chief Executive further said that he has been receiving regular updates from PAGASA on the status of tropical storms, including Typhoon “Juaning” which recently hit the country, specifically the Bicol region.

Typhoon Juaning has claimed at least 35 lives after dumping rains that caused floods in most parts of Luzon.

The NDRRMC said most of the fatalities come from the Bicol region. An average of 20 storms and typhoons, some of them deadly, hit the Philippines every year.(PCOO) 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

PIA Dispatch - Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aquino cites Filipino ingenuity at Science Week celebration

President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the innate ingenuity of the Filipinos as exemplified by their works that greatly contribute to the country’s progress and development.

In his speech during the opening ceremonies of the 2011 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Wednesday, the President said that the event vividly depicts the inherent qualities among Filipinos in the field of Science and Technology that raises the hope of the nation.

“Patunay ang pagdiriwang na ito na ang taglay na pagkamalikhain ni Juan dela Cruz ay may makabuluhang mga bunga at nakasentro ang kanyang mga imbensyon at inisyatiba sa pag-aangat ng antas ng buhay ng kanyang mga kababayan,” the President said.

The Chief Executive also acknowledged the various works of Filipino inventors which, he said, made the lives of others simpler and easier since the time of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

“Hindi na bago sa atin ang mga pangalan ng mga Pilipino na nag-iwan ng marka sa larangan ng agham at teknolohiya sa buong mundo… umpisahan po natin kay Gat Jose Rizal na gumawa ng isang uri ng lighter na gawa sa kahoy na tinawag niyang sulpukan… Hindi rin maaaring mawala ang pangalan ni Fe del Mundo na lumikha ng isang incubator na yari sa kawayan para sa mga pamayanang walang elektrisidad, at maging sa kasalukuyang panahon…humahagibis pa rin ang hari ng kalsada ang Jeepney na isa ring sagisag ng pagkamalikhain at inobasyon ng mga Pilipino,” the President stressed.

“Noon hanggang ngayon makabuluhan ang naiambag ng ating malikhaing pag-iisip hindi lamang para kilalanin tayo sa mundo kundi para mapangalagaan din ang kapakanan at kaunlaran ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.

The President also noted the High Impact Technology Solutions (HITS) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) which he described as very useful and functional to the lives of the Filipino people.

The HITS include the Mosquito Ovicidal-Larvicidal Trap, brown rice, baby foods, water filter, automatic weather stations, mass transit system, PC tablet, RxBox and the latest projects in genomics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, among others.

Present during the event were cabinet members led by Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

Also in attendance were the major industry stakeholders and business leaders as well as investors.

Anchored on the theme “Nasa Siyensa ang Pag-asa”, the science and technology event was participated in by other government offices, the business sector, and the academic community who presented their works and inventions.(PCOO) 

Aquino leads observance of National Science and Technology Week

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the pressing of the ceremonial button signaling the formal opening of the 2011 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) aimed at celebrating the Filipino’s ingenuity and innate talent in the field of science and technology.

The President awarded medals and citations to this year’s outstanding inventors in the fields of research and development and science administration.

The Outstanding Research and Development Award (Julian A. Banzon medal) was given to Dr. Lorenza Gonzales-Lirio while the Outstanding Science Administrator Award (Dioscoro L. Umali Award) was bestowed on Chancellor, Dr. Luis Rey Velasco of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna.

The National Artist Award was also given to Dr. Raul Villasenor Fabella.

In his speech the Chief Executive expressed sincere appreciation and gratitude to the awardees for their valuable contributions in their respective fields of expertise.

“Binabati ko po sila Dr. Lorenza Gonzales-Lirio, Dr. Luis Rey Velasco sa karangalan na inyong tinanggap dahil sa inyong husay sa agham at teknolohiya…at si Dr. Raul Fabella na kabilang na ngayon sa ating Order of National Scientists,” the President said.

“Hindi po sapat ang mga parangal na ito para pasalamatan kayo sa mga ibinuhos ninyong dedikasyon upang ang larangan na inyong kinabibilangan ay magsilbing instrumento para mabigyan ng pagkakataong makatamasa ng mas maaliwalas na buhay ang kapwa ninyo Pilipino,” he added.

President Aquino likewise thanked the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for constantly pursuing studies and programs in line with the vision of the Aquino administration.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa buong hanay ng DOST sa pagtataguyod ng mga adhikain ng gobyerno para sa tuloy-tuloy na pagsulong ng sektor ng agrikultura, kalusugan, edukasyon, seguridad at iba pa…,” the President stressed.

Anchored on this year’s theme “Nasa Siyensya ang Pag-asa”, the NSTW raises the hope among the Filipinos towards national progress and development. The weeklong event will run until July 30 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Aptly entitled “Expo Science 2011,” the science and technology weeklong celebration showcases the latest breakthroughs from the Philippine science community.

The NSTW features science and technology fairs and exhibits, and other events in different venues to give audiences updates on the goings-on in the science community.

Among these include: Tagisang Robotics (July 28, SM Mall of Asia-Music Hall), S&T Summit and S&T Quiz Bee (July 29, SMX Convention Center), and In Touch With Excellence (July 29, Landbank Auditorium).(PCOO) 

Aquino confident Carpio Morales will effectively perform her function as Ombudsman

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday expressed confidence that newly-installed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales will be able to do her function as Ombudsman as mandated by the Constitution.

“We now have confidence that the Ombudsman will be doing the function for which the office was set up,” the President said in an ambush interview following the formal opening of the 2011 National Science and Technology week at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia on Wednesday in Pasay City.

During her oath taking which was presided over by President Aquino at Malacanang’s President’s Hall on Wednesday, Ombudsman Carpio Morales vowed to perform her duties and responsibilities and uphold the Philippine Constitution.

“Ako ay taimtim na nanunumpa na tutuparin ko ng buong husay at katapatan sa abot ng aking kakayanan ang mga tungkulin ng aking kasalukuyang katungkulan at aking itataguyod at ipagtatanggol ang saligang batas ng Pilipinas at tunay na mananalig at tatalima ako rito,” Carpio Morales said.

Joining Ombudsman Morales in the oath taking rites were her husband Eugenio T. Morales, Jr., her two sons, Eugenio III and Umberto.

Among the Cabinet officials who witnessed the oath taking ceremonies were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang, and Presidential Management Staff director general Julia Abad.

Also present were former Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, Land Registration Authority Administrator Atty. Eulalio Diaz III, and PCOO Assistant Secretary Rey Marfil, among others.

Before her appointment as Ombudsman, Carpio Morales served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Born on June 19, 1941, in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Carpio Morales is the daughter of Judge Lucas D. Carpio and Maria Claudio.

Carpio Morales started her career in a Manila law firm where she was an Assistant Attorney. From 1971 to 1983, she worked at the Department of Justice as assistant, lawyer, researcher, assistant special lawyer and senior state counsel before she became a judge.

Between 1983 to1986 she was appointed by then President Ferdinand Marcos as a trial court judge in Pili, Camarines Sur.

On November 4, 1986, former President Corazon Aquino appointed her as trial court judge in Pasay City.

In 1994, Carpio Morales was appointed by President Fidel V. Ramos to the Court of Appeals where she headed the 7th Division of the CA.

On September 3, 2002, upon the unanimous endorsement of the members of the Judicial and Bar Council, she was appointed to the high court by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.(PCOO)

Aquino cites PAG-ASA for doing functions well

President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the reliability of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the country’s lead agency in monitoring, forecasting and warning of tropical weather systems, saying that the agency is focused on its duties and responsibilities to the country and the Filipino citizenry as a whole.

In an ambush interview following the opening ceremonies of the 2011 National Science and Technology Week at the SMX Convention Center of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Wednesday, the President acknowledged PAGASA, which is under the Department of Science and Technology, as an active government entity in providing protection to lives and properties against natural hazards due to typhoons, floods and other natural calamities through applied scientific knowledge and information.

The agency has also been upholding its task to promote national progress and contribute to regional socio-economic development.

The Chief Executive further said that he has been receiving regular updates from PAGASA on the status of tropical storms, including Typhoon “Juaning” which is presently hitting the country, specifically the Bicol region.

Typhoon Juaning has claimed at least 20 lives as of Wednesday morning after dumping rains that caused floods in most parts of Luzon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said most of the fatalities come from the Bicol region.

At least 31 people were reported hurt while 9 others remained missing as of Wednesday morning. An average of 20 storms and typhoons, some of them deadly, hit the Philippines every year.(PCOO)