Thursday, 1 December 2011

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, December 1, 2011

Aquino lauds country’s ‘new heroes’ for bringing honor and prestige to Filipinos

President Benigno S. Aquino III paid tribute to the country’s “new heroes” for bringing honor and prestige to Filipinos through their dedication, sacrifice and hard work while eking out a living far from their families overseas.

In his speech keynoting the awarding ceremonies of the 2011 Bagong Bayani in Malacañang on Thursday, the President praised the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for being partners in nation building.

“Saludo po ako sa di-matawarang dedikasyon at sakripisyo ng ating mga OFWs. Malayo man sa kanilang tahanan, buong tatag at sagisag pa rin sila sa pagkayod upang mabigyan ng maginhawang buhay at kinabukasan ang kanilang pamilya,” the President said.

“Ang mga ipinadadalang remittance ng ating mga OFWs para sa panggastos sa bahay o pagpapagawa ng kanilang dream house; para sa pambayad ng matrikula ng mga anak o ng kapatid, o di kaya pangtustos sa negosyo, ay katumbas din ng pag-usad ng mga Pilipino sa tuwid na landas,” he added.

He stressed that the term Bagong Bayani or New Hero is a fitting testament to OFWs around the world whose dedication and sacrifice have greatly helped in uplifting the lives of their families and the economy.

“Kaya naman hindi maitatangging kayo ang ating mga bagong bayani. Hindi man kayo gumagamit ng mga sandata sa pakikibaka, pinapalaya ninyo ang bayan mula sa pagkakagapos nito sa kahirapan – mga bayani kayong ipinupuhunan ang dugo, pawis at pagod upang itaas ang antas ng kabuhayaan ng inyong pamilya at ng ekonomiya,” the President said.

“Nakikipagsapalaran kayo kaakibat ang tatag ng loob na magtrabaho sa kanila, ng pagkakahiwalay sa mga mahal sa buhay; ang tapang sa pagharap sa mga pagsubok ng pag-iisa at ng hirap ng trabaho at sa pagiging salbabida ng ating ekonomiya,” he added. (PCOO)

PHL to remain relentless in fight against drugs – Aquino

The Philippines will remain relentless in its fight against illegal drugs and its distribution, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday, following the verdict of the Chinese Supreme People's Court (SPC) which affirmed a lower court's ruling on the imposition of the death penalty on a Filipino national in connection with a drug trafficking case.

In an interview, the President said the government would never tire in warning the people against being victimized by drug syndicates to transport their contraband.

“Wala hong tigil tayong mag-warning doon sa mga nalilinlang for instance na maging drug mule,” the President said.

He pointed out that his administration is working towards strengthening the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in order to increase the anti-illegal drug agency’s ability “to interdict them (drug syndicates) especially within our shores going out and coming in.” (PCOO)

Philippines remains stable despite global economic uncertainty – Aquino

President Benigno S. Aquino III said Thursday that while the country’s third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was slower than expected, the Philippines remains stable and investors continue to put their money in the country.
The Japanese production shortfall following major disasters, the Middle East instability, the Eurozone crisis, and the American slowdown have affected the Philippines economically, the President said in an interview at the Palace Thursday morning.

The President said the stimulus package that he announced recently is meant to ameliorate all of the effects brought about by what has been happening in the world economy.

The country is still lucky because while many countries received downgrades from leading ratings agencies, the Philippines has been upgraded, which means good financial stewardship of the present government.

“Paalala lang po,: habang na-downgrade ang maraming bansa, na-upgrade naman po tayo ng mga ratings agencies, but we don’t exist in a vacuum. Part of our production is tied in the world economy,” the President said.

Asked by reporters about the need to augment the P72-billion stimulus package because of the deepening Euro crisis and the continuing US slowdown, the President said his administration hopes to do that and marches towards that goal.

For instance, the Department of Education made substantial improvements in putting up more classrooms and it is very close to meeting its target for this year, he said. Hopefully that will lay the basis for an expanded school-building program for next year, he added.

Infrastructure spending by the Department of Public Works and Highways is also good, the President said adding that the department now has safeguards to prevent leakages.

“So we did not spend unwisely, I think we spent wisely and we’ll have more acceleration in the second semester,” he said referring to infrastructure spending.

Early this week, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) announced that the country’s third quarter GDP grew by 3.2 percent.

Although it doesn’t include the P72-billion stimulus package announced by the President, the growth figure is below the projected 3.8 to 4.8 percent target by the government. (PCOO)