Friday, 2 December 2011

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, December 2, 2011

Aquino leads Christmas Tree lighting in Malacanang

President Benigno S. Aquino III reminded the Filipinos of their instinctive concern for others through honest and transparent service, as embodied by the government’s programs towards the nation’s sustainable progress and development, especially now that the season of giving has just started.

In his brief but meaningful message during the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies at the Kalayaan Grounds of the Malacanang Palace on Thursday, President Aquino said that the event symbolizes the tradition of giving and sharing among the Filipino people as exemplified by the real meaning of the yuletide season.

“Ngayon nga pong sinindihan na natin ang ating Christmas tree at mga Christmas lights dito sa MalacaƱang, ipinapahayag na rin po natin sa bayan ang isa pang simbolo, isa pang tradisyon. Ito po ang tradisyon ng taos-pusong pagbibigay sa kapwa na ipinamalas sa atin ni Hesus,” the President said.

He said that the newly-lit Christmas tree and lights signify a fresh hope for the country and the individual role everyone plays in pursuing progress for the nation.

“Ito po ang simbolo ng liwanag na kaya nating ibigay para sa bayan. Ang indibidwal po nating mga gawain—ang sari-sarili nating pagbubukas-palad, pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, tapat na serbisyo, at pagkilos tungo sa interes ng ating mga kababayan—lahat po ng ito, kung susumahin, ay sapat upang talaga namang isulong ang ating minamahal na Pilipinas,” President Aquino said.

The Chief Executive also stressed the importance of cooperation and unity among people in order to achieve the common goal of overcoming any trial in favor of the nation.

“Gaya nga po nitong mga ilaw na sinindihan natin ngayon: Maaari pong ang bawat maliit na bumbilya ay hindi kayang tumanglaw ng daan kung mag-isa siya, ngunit kung magsasama-sama at mag-aambagan, makabubuo ito ng isang dakila at dambuhalang liwanag na hindi kayang paandapin ng kahit anong kadiliman,” the President said.

President Aquino led in lighting the 6.6 meters high Christmas tree made from recycled steel and garland. It was decorated with 125 lanterns and 32 sets of LED lights.

Also present during the event were other high-ranking government officials led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Delez, among others.

Prior to the President's speech, performances were rendered by the Office of the President Chorale, the Philippine Marine Drum and Bugle Team and the children of the Children’s Joy Foundation. (PCOO)

Aquino expresses alarm over judicial uncertainty in the country

President Benigno Aquino III expressed concern over judicial uncertainty in the country noting the highest court is apparently not working in harmony with other branches of the government.

“My task as Chief Executive is clearly spelled out to uphold and defend the constitution; implement its laws; do justice to every man; and consecrate myself to the service of the people. You know that even before I was president, I was puzzled, even alarmed, by the behavior of the Supreme Court,” the President said in his speech at the 30th anniversary of the Makati Business Club (MBC) in Makati City Thursday evening.

The government is established to uphold public good and the President said that as the chief executive he needs clarity of rules and consistency in interpretations to effectively implement his plans.

But the President said he wonders how he can fulfill his mandate as chief executive given the current behavior of the Supreme Court, contradicting itself and issuing decisions not serving the interest of the public.

The high court’s reversal of its decisions in the past has cast a cloud of uncertainty in the Philippine judicial system, he said. The President cited SC’s decisions on the status of Dinagat Island as a province, confusing its constituents after the high court reversed itself several times.

Because of the system of checks and balances in the government there should be interplay between the branches of government, he said.

The SC is supposed to be the designated arbiter when disagreements arise but the President doubted the objectivity and nonpartisanship of the high court.

The President particularly mentioned the issue on the temporary restraining order (TRO) for Mrs. Arroyo, saying he’s confused why the SC just relied on arguments of the former president’s lawyers despite the inconsistencies of her travel plans.

Justice is the bedrock of progress, the president said adding every Filipino must be treated equally under the law. Also he underscored the importance of interplay of all sectors and institutions of society in realizing national progress.

“A weak and corrupt government affects the state of the economy. We have seen so often in different countries all over the world how political instability has done nothing but harm business operations, and ultimately, economic stability,” he said.

“And, worst of all, these redound directly to the lives of our countrymen -- in government programs and initiatives that do not, or cannot truly help the people because of a corrupt leadership; in lack of jobs and opportunities to take stock of their lives; and ultimately, in a poor and vulnerable Philippines,” he added.

Aside from gracing MBC’s the 30th anniversary, the President also joined the unveiling of its new logo, acknowledging the role of the organization for the development of the country. (PCOO)

Palace considers high optimism among Filipinos an inspiration to work even harder

Malacanang said it shares the high optimism of most Filipinos for the coming year adding it would use the renewed public confidence to achieve national reform and progress.

A survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) in June showed that Filipinos remain optimistic about their quality of life and expect positive changes in the country’s economy in 2012.

“We share your optimism, to everybody who feels optimistic about 2012. We also likewise feel optimistic and we will use that optimism to keep putting our noses to the ground at tuloy lang po yung ating pagtatrabaho,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

“Natutuwa po kami na patuloy po yung optimism and yung confidence ng ating mga kababayan,” she added.

The high optimism, as showed by the recent SWS survey means two things for the government, Valte noted. First, the administration will use it as further motivation “to keep doing what needs to be done to see those numbers go up.”

“And secondly, also for our fellow citizens, that hindi tayo nawawalan ng pag-asa that we will see better days up ahead ,” Valte continued.

The SWS survey said 36 percent of Filipinos expect their life would improve, while nine percent expect their life to get worse, resulting in a “high” net personal optimism score (optimistic minus pessimistic) of +27 points.

This figure is 3 percentage higher compared to the “high” net personal optimism score in March of +24 (35 percent optimistic, 11 percent pessimistic), according to SWS.

The SWS asked 1,200 respondents nationwide, “In your opinion, what will be the quality of your life in the coming 12 months?” in the survey conducted on June 3 to 6.

The survey also found that Filipinos see the economy to improve in the future, with 29 percent of respondents saying it would get better in the next 12 months. Sixteen percent said it would get worse, resulting in a net economic optimism score of +14 points. (PCOO)


Palace confirms appointment of SBMA chairman as administrator in concurrent capacity

President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto VillaseƱor Garcia as the concurrent administrator, a Palace official said on Friday.

The Office of Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. confirmed the appointment of Garcia as the new SBMA administrator in concurrent capacity, according to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

Last April, President Aquino appointed Garcia as SBMA Chairman and Rafael Reyes as administrator and chief executive officer. The latter, however, reportedly never assumed his post.

Garcia is a business executive and entrepreneur with over 40 years of experience in the manufacturing, food and leisure industries. He was the president and chief operating officer of Oriental and Motolite Corporation (OMC) when he retired in 2004.

During his 34 years in the battery manufacturing industry, Garcia played a pivotal role in growing OMC into the largest battery manufacturer in ASEAN and one of the most technologically advanced companies in Asia. The company also became one of the most fully integrated battery manufacturers in the world.

The SBMA is the operating and implementing arm of the Government of the Philippines for the development the 262 square mile (670 square kilometer) area of Subic Bay Freeport (SBF) in Subic Bay into a self-sustaining tourism, industrial, commercial, financial, and investment center to generate employment opportunities. (PCOO)