Tuesday, 22 November 2011

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

South Korean President lauds Aquino for ‘outstanding leadership’

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak lauded President Benigno S. Aquino III for his “outstanding leadership,” and assured that the Republic of Korea will remain the partner and friend of the Philippines.

President Benigno S. Aquino III hosted a State Dinner in honor of the South Korean leader and his delegation at the Malacanang’s Rizal Hall on Monday evening.

During his speech President Lee expressed his “deepest admiration” to the “outstanding leadership” of President Aquino.

“I know that since assuming office, he has strenuously carried out steadfast reform both political and social, which has yielded substantial results,” the South Korean leader said.

“We believe that due to that outstanding leadership, the Philippine economy as well as the country as a whole has been able to achieve much despite the global economic difficulties,” he added.

President Lee was in the country for a three-day state visit upon the invitation of President Aquino. The two leaders had a bilateral meeting Monday morning in Malacanan Palace.

He said that during his bilateral meeting with President Aquino, he reaffirmed the close partnership between the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.

“It has been more than 60 years since the two countries first established diplomatic relationship and it has been 60 years since the Philippines came to our aid during the Korean War,” President Lee said.

President Lee also took the opportunity to thank the Korean War veterans here in the Philippines for their "service" during the Korean war.

“It may have been several decades since the brave soldiers from the Philippines came to help my country and my people, but as time goes by our appreciation and gratitude only grow stronger,” he said.

President Lee said that the people of Korea would always remember the “sacrifice, dedication and the service that the people of the Philippines gave to Korea during times of darkness.”

He also assured that the Aquino administration that his country will remain the Philippines' closest partner and friend adding that his visit to the Philippines will elevate the partnership between the two countries.

“We will continue to strengthen not only our economic and commerce and trade relationship but also on the international stage, as we have always done for the last several decades,” President Lee said.

“Our two countries will remain steadfast partners and friends as we face the global challenges of today,” the South Korean leader said. (PCOO)

Aquino says PHL remains committed to advance relations with South Korea

The Philippines remains committed to advance its relationship with South Korea, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Monday.

“The government and people of the Philippines are committed to the advancement of relations between our two nations,” the Chief Executive said as he proposed a toast during a State Dinner in honor of visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak at Malacanang’s Rizal Hall.

“We will build on six decades of shared sacrifice and idealism by working with you whether in bilateral meetings or multilateral fora to ensure peace, development and cooperation in our region and throughout the world,” the President said.

The President also expressed admiration to the people of South Korea for their fast-recovery despite the challenges that they had to go through during the previous several years.

“I remember during our own Martial Law years, when I was but a mere child, my father (the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.), who also first introduced us to Korean cuisine, would relate to the family his stories about the deprivations that your country had to go through,” he stressed.

“He was very impressed with your people’s strength of character, your perseverance, your drive to strengthen your institutions in a single-minded focus to achieve the vision that your leaders have laid out,” he added.

“His Excellency, your people have done so much with so little to begin with, and it is my fervent hope that increased people-to-people engagements can bring about a cross pollination of mindsets so that my people can also recover from the traumas we have experienced, and with strength and pride join the community of nations in building a better world for humanity,” he said. (PCOO)

Aquino to inaugurate Climate Change Academy in Albay

President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the inauguration of the Climate Change Academy in Albay on Friday in connection with the observance of the Climate Change Consciousness week.

This year’s climate change observance will have a theme “convergence on climate change” which is expected to elicit a higher level of climate change consciousness among media practitioners and eventually the general public.

In a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda underscored the importance of institutionalizing the fight against climate change as well as raising public awareness through the media.

“Ang Climate Change Academy is first of its kind in the world, wala pa pong ganyan sa buong mundo. It’s essentially a knowledge management institution,” Salceda said.

Given the vulnerability of the Philippines, being the third most vulnerable country in the world, Salceda said battling or reducing the impacts of climate change is a paramount concern of the government.

“Mahalaga po lalung-lalo na para sa atin na para hindi natin makalimutan yung ating mga natutunan noong Ondoy at Pepeng na halos 3 percent ng GDP [gross domestic product] ang nawala sa isang iglap, wala pa sa anim na oras ay nasira ang buong GDP, yung kinayod ng buong ekonomiya for one year sa loob ng anim na oras nawala po dahil sa isang bagyo,” he said noting the impact of typhoons to the country’s economy.

Other countries that send their participants to the Climate Change Academy in Albay include those from Laos, Myanmar, Kenya, Nepal and many others, Salceda said.

Also, the local government of Albay is also holding the Philippine Media Conference on Climate Change Adaptation on November 24 to 26 that will gather media practitioners and foreign correspondents for a three-day workshop to tackle climate change and the impacts of natural disasters.

The workshop is aimed at promoting the importance of awareness to climate vulnerabilities and the need to accelerate the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the local level. It will also advocate the use of science-based analytical and planning tools on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.

Among the expected participants include the Philippine Information Agency, Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, the Malacanang Press Corps and other media organizations.

The three-day gathering is sponsored by the Provincial government of Albay, Climate Change Commission, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), National Press Club (NPC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Spanish government. (PCOO)

Philippines adopts National Climate Change Action Plan

President Benigno S. Aquino III convened the Climate Change Commission to adopt the National Climate Action Plan in compliance with the country’s international commitments especially to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention.

President Aquino chairs the Climate Change Commission, an independent and autonomous body that has the similar status of a national government agency.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who met President Aquino at the Palace Tuesday, said the plan is about adaptation to climate change and mitigating its impact particularly on the economy.

The action plan will also become the basis of any assistance that will come from industrialized countries in Europe and the US, which are being blamed for global warming because of massive use of fossil fuels in their industries.

“It’s a critical balance, but I think in the case of the Philippines, it is biased towards adaptation. Adaptation being that you fight the impact of climate change. Mitigation, because you fight climate change itself,” Salceda said in a media briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday prior to his meeting with the President.

Asked by reporters how prepared is the Philippines about changing weather patterns, Salceda said the country is one of the most well-prepared countries in the world putting in place legislations and guidelines that address climate change.

“Isa tayo sa pinakahanda. Pero hanggang kailan tayo tatagal, iyon na lang po ang diperensya. Kasi kung tataun-taunin ka ba naman na 3 percent ang tatanggalin sa ekonomiya mo, iyong pinag-ipunan mo laging nawawaldas sa wala. You keep rebuilding, you need to earn the same amount of gross value added in the economy, you have to keep investing on your gross domestic capital formation,” he said.

On the average, Salceda said, the country is losing to climate change about 0.31 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). It may look insignificant but some provinces like Albay is hurt by the impact, he added.

The national action plan will be presented to the climate change conference to be held in Durban, South Africa, and it will be the basis of compensatory measures that rich countries have committed to pay.

“Ang national climate action plan is a requirement so that the EU and Japan, Australia will know just where—kung saan sila papasok para iyong kanilang kino-commit para po sa climate change ay puwedeng gamitin ng Pilipinas,” he said.

Included in the national plan are the guidelines and framework on how the country can use the assistance once it is approved in Durban.

The Philippines will join other countries in pushing for financial assistance to fight climate change as the country’s negotiators leave late this month for Durban.

Last December, negotiators agreed to create a green climate fund that could be accessed by vulnerable countries like the Philippines. They are expected to tackle in the Durban meeting the way to get the money once the fund is approved. (PCOO)