Wednesday, 7 December 2011

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aquino fetes 2011 TOYM awardees in Malacañang

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the awarding ceremonies honoring this year’s The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in Malacañang on Monday.

In his speech keynoting the event organized by the Junior Chamber International Philippines, the TOYM Foundation and the Gerry Roxas Foundation, the President said he was “honored” to personally confer the awards to the winners.

“Every year, we recognize ten outstanding young Filipinos, who have not only gone on to fruitful careers in their chosen fields, but who have also committed themselves to effect meaningful change in our society,” the President said.

“You represent the best of your generation, and it is a privilege to be able to personally confer this honor on all of you,” he added.

This year’s TOYM awardees are: Ma. Antonia Arroyo – Biotechnology Adocacy; Raul Destura – Medical Science; Sherwin Gatchalian – Public Service; Paulino Salvador Leachon – Government and Public Service; Edgar Sia II – Business Entrepreneurship; Gerard Salonga – Arts and Music; and, Antonio Tiu – Agribusiness.

The President called on the awardees to continue being examples and inspirations to the Filipino people of what they could become through dedication and hard work.

“To our awardees: you are living symbols of the energy, excellence, and dedication that we Filipinos are capable of when we put our minds to it. I hope that in calling attention to those of us Filipinos who excel, I can help restore confidence in ourselves not just as individuals, but more importantly, as a people,” the President said.

“I therefore call on you today to continue to pursue meaningful endeavors. As our new generation of leaders, you carry on your shoulders the hopes of our countrymen. Your future actions will either validate or disappoint the potential we recognize today,” he said. (PCOO)

Ochoa: LGUs are strategic partners to national development

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Tuesday underscored the importance of local government units (LGUs) as strategic partners of the Aquino administration in national development and in equitably distributing its benefits.

Speaking on behalf of President Benigno S. Aquino III in the 2011 General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) in Cebu City, Ochoa said the government will continue to engage LGUs to promote this partnership and help transform communities into vibrant economies.

“With your help we hope to transform our towns, cities and provinces into progressive and vibrant economies that can serve as hubs for the development of new economic regions,” Ochoa said.

“The formula is simple: local progress leads to national development, local productivity results in national prosperity,” Ochoa added.

He encouraged municipalities to work together and pool their resources in drawing up a list of projects that is in line with national economic goals. “Individually, it may not be possible for your towns to undertake programs and projects that have huge financial requirements; but together it will be more feasible for you to launch the kind of projects that can benefit your towns and constituents, as well as complement national initiatives.”

Citing the experience of the national government in pursuing projects under the public-private partnership (PPP), this, too, can be explored at the LGU level to enable municipalities to support their programs.

“As long as these projects can provide a return on investment for those involved, you will be able to attract parties interested in investing in your areas,” Ochoa told mayors of 1,498 municipalities who participated in the LMP general assembly held at the Cebu International Convention Center.

He said LGU projects must be in line with the five Cabinet clusters that were formed by the President to organize our national goals, namely Good Governance; Economic Development; Human Development; Security, Justice and Peace; and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation clusters.

The President’s Cabinet cluster system is outlined in Executive Order No. 43.

More than just establishing a system of governance or organizing the Cabinet into clusters, EO 43 defines the President’s vision to attain “the good life” for every Filipino and reflects the national agenda for development.

While the administration is still finalizing the details of this national-local partnership program, Ochoa noted that its components essentially involve the following:

 Projects that strategically link localities with national and global markets such as construction of ports and airports, and the development of information communication technology portals;

 Projects that create economic enterprises such as “bagsakan” centers, food processing centers, and postharvest and storage facilities; and

 Projects that promote tourism. (PCOO)

Aquino declares December 8 as special non-working day in Taguig City

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared December 8, 2011 which falls on Thursday as a special non-working day in the city of Taguig in celebration of its 7th Founding Anniversary.

The Chief Executive issued Proclamation No. 298 on December 1 declaring Dec. 8 as a special non-working day in Taguig to give its people the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion.

Taguig is a city in Metro Manila. On December 8, 1998, Republic Act No. 8487 was enacted which converted the said municipality into a Highly Urbanized City, and officially became a city on December 8, 2004. (PCOO)

Aquino rallies Filipinos to join in reforming country

President Benigno S. Aquino III rallied Filipinos to join his government’s plan to reform the country, saying that through dedication and hard work, we can “transform this country to one that we can truly be proud of.”

The President said that this ambitious effort cannot be done by government alone but through the help of each and every Filipino.

“Reform is not just the obligation of your government; it is the call of our times in everything we do,” the President said in his speech keynoting The Outstanding Young Men 2011 awarding ceremony held in Malacañang on Wednesday.

“If we really want to eliminate poverty, to weed out corruption, and to promote inclusive growth and lasting progress in the Philippines, we need you to be on the side that supports our agenda,” he added.

To be able to achieve this, the President challenged everyone to “be trustworthy, responsible, and continue to take part in our collective responsibilities as one Filipino people.”

“Prove that we Filipinos can be a successful people, who belong to a country and a society that rewards virtue and punishes wrongdoing,” the President said. (PCOO)

Aquino leads Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the awarding ceremony Wednesday for the winners of the 2011 Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards (LTIA) acknowledging the role of local leaders in administering justice in the country.

In his speech following the grant of the awards, the President said lack of judges in the country’s courts results to delays in court proceedings taking heavy toll on people seeking justice.

However, because disputes are initially resolved in the lowest level with the help of the Lupong Tagapamayapa, the President said it prevents cases from piling up in the courts.

“Kaya naman nagpapasalamat ako sa tagapagtaguyod ng pagdiriwang nating ito, partikular na sa Department of Interior and Local Government, sa pangunguna ng magaling na lider natin na si Secretary Jessie Robredo,” he said in his message.

“Sa pagkilala po ninyo sa mga katangi-tanging Lupong Tagapamayapa hindi lamang kayo sumasaludo sa kanilang mga sakripisyo at ambag sa kaayusan sa lipunan nabibigyan din natin ng insentibo ang ating mga ehemplo na magpatuloy sa kanilang makabuluhang serbisyo-publiko.”

The awards also unite other government agencies for a more effective grant of justice to people seeking it, he said.

He congratulated the awardees for their effective services in the performance of their duties.

“Taus-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa inyong maayos at epektibong serbisyo sa pagpapatibay at pagsasabuhay sa mga adhikain ng Katarungang Pambarangay at sa inyong pagiging malikhain at maparaan bilang mga tagapamagitan tungo sa pag-aayos sa mga di pagkakaunawaan sa inyong nasasakupan,” the President said.

“Nais po nating maghari ang katarungan sa bansa at katuwang natin ang Lupong Tagapamayapa bilang isa sa mga instrumento ng kaayusan at pagkakaunawaan ng mga Pilipino. Sa tulong at gabay ninyo sa problema ng inyong nasasakupan nakatutok tayo sa mas mabibigat na problema ng ating bansa at sa pagtataguyod ng kapakanan ng mas nangangailangan,” he added.

The Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards was established pursuant to Executive Order 394 series of 1997, in recognition of the Lupon’s contribution in the promotion of Katarungang Pambarangay (KB) objectives.

It aims to strengthen the effectiveness of the Katarungang Pambarangay as an indigenous mediation structure capable of resolving disputes within a community to avoid lengthy court trials.

The grant of awards is based on the following criteria: Efficiency in operations, effectiveness in securing the objectives of the KP, creativity and resourcefulness of the Lupons. This year’s competition covered 39,348 lupons nationwide for the period July 2009 to December 2010.

There are 48 national finalists from the 57 target Lupon finalists in 16 regions that competed in this year’s LTIA in the following categories: Highly urbanized cities, component cities, First to third class Municipalities and Fourth to sixth class municipalities.

This year’s winners include the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay Adlaon, Cebu City for highly urbanized cities category; Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay Tuyo, Balanga City, Bataan for the Component cities category; Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay Bailan, Pontevedra, Capiz for the First to Third class Municipalities category; and Lupong Tagapamayapa of Baranagay Quezon, Mainit, Surigao del Norte for Fourth to sixth class municipalities category.

Each of the four national awardees received a presidential trophy and cash from the DILG. (PCOO)

Aquino wants strict monitoring of spending on govt projects

President Benigno S. Aquino III said he wants a closely monitored use of public money as the country embarks on an accelerated spending next year particularly on major infrastructure projects.

On Tuesday, the President had met with his economic managers and tackled measures to ensure that the country continue to spend money prudently after Congress approved the national budget for 2012.

“Sabi ko i-monitor yung system natin dito, hindi lang yung mga release ng DBM [Department of Budget and Management] pati na rin yung absorption capacity. Yung actually magastos para doon sa mga proyektong iyon ay kailangang ma-monitor from the onset para kung may nade-delay, ma-monitor at mai-correct as soon as possible,” the President said during an interview at the Palace on Wednesday.

The President said he expects the national budget to be signed by December 15 so the government could start frontloading on major projects by January.

The administration hopes to allocate money to all projects by early next year for major works to start at the onset of the year, he said.

Congress realigned some P5.7 billion in President Aquino's proposed P1.8-trillion 2012 national budget before finally approving it late last month. (PCOO)