President Benigno S. Aquino III swore in the officers of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and other government agencies in ceremonies held in Malacañang on Wednesday.
Chairperson Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares, vice-chairperson Emmanuel Borlaza and the 23 Board Members of the MTRCB were sworn in by the President at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace.
Officers of various government agencies who also took their oaths before the President were: Mark Dennis Derecho and Jo Paulo Espiritu; Head Executive Assistant and Director III respectively, of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office;
Efren Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of the Department of National Defense; Constante Caluya, Register of Deeds III of the Land Registration Authority; Ophelia Agawin, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture;
Pedro Mendiola, Jr., Rogelio Elveña, and Geoffrey Gacula as Acting Members of the Board of Directors representing the Tobacco Traders of the National Tobacco Administration. (PCOO)
Aquino leads premier screening of National Geographic Channel’s ‘Inside Malacanang’
President Benigno S. Aquino III attended the premier screening of the National Geographic Channel’s “Inside Malacanang”, a documentary that will take the viewers a visual tour of the official residence of the country’s leader.
In his brief message before the screening of the documentary on Tuesday at Malacanang Palace, the President said that while he has the privilege to work at the Malacanang Palace, he has never forgotten that his occupancy in his official home is limited. He called the Malacanang Palace as the “palace of the people.”
“More than anything else, this documentary will open up the Palace not only to Filipinos, but also to the whole world. Apart from telling you more about the history of the Palace, it will also give you a look into the lives of the other people who work here---the pilot and maintenance team of the presidential airlift wing, the Presidential Security Group and others who work very closely with me,” the President said.
The Chief Executive also expressed his gratitude to the dedicated men and women working at the Palace saying that those people contributed a lot in achieving much for the past 20 months of his administration.
The presidency, he noted, is not about one person but a collective effort of the people to achieve whatever objective is being pursued. Every public servant must think that his bosses are the Filipino people, and work for them efficiently and honestly.
“Let this documentary symbolize that the halls of power are not exclusive to elected officials---every single one of us can take part. This is the pathway that we must take to make certain that all of us are involved and that no one is left behind,” the President said.
“Inside Malacanang” also examines and breaks long-held myths and beliefs about the President’s entourage. The documentary also features the daily routines of the chief of the Presidential Security Group, the close in security of the President, the presidential photographer, and the presidential tester.
Producers, who worked for more than a year to make the documentary, hope that with the showing of the documentary, Filipinos would appreciate the Office of the President and the people who run it every day.
Made by an all-Filipino production team, producers also wanted to show the world-class talent of Filipinos in producing long-form documentaries.
“Inside Malacanang” will be shown over National Geographic Channel on March 18 at 9 p.m.
The National Geographic Channel International (NGCI), owned by the National Geographic Television (NGT) and FOX Entertainment Group, contributes to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education through its different channels.
The National Geographic Television is available in more than 315 million homes in 166 countries and 34 languages. (PCOO)
Aquino declares March 10 as special non-working day in Bukidnon in celebration of it's 95th Foundation Day
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared March 10, which falls on a Saturday, as a special non-working day in the province of Bukidnon in celebration of it’s 95th Foundation Day.
In Proclamation No. 346 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on February 28, President Aquino issued the declaration to give the people of Bukidnon the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
Before the Spaniards colonized Misamis province, settlers from the Visayas had already established themselves there. As the migrants kept coming, the tribes who originally inhabited the area were driven inland toward the rugged and mountainous territory. They were eventually called Bukidnons, meaning "people of the mountains," from which the place derived its name.
Bukidnon was officially created by virtue of Act 2711 (Revised Administrative Code of 1917) issued on March 10, 1917.
Meanwhile, the province of Bukidnon started the celebration of it's Kaamulan, an annual cultural festival on February 16 to culminate on March 10. (PCOO)
Govt conducts wider consultations to adopt better mining policy, Ochoa says
The Aquino government is still conducting more consultations with the mining industry to make sure that a proposed mining policy remains consistent with the laws to protect the people and the environment, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said in a statement on Wednesday.
This month, businessmen in Mindanao expressed their apprehension over the mining policy of the Aquino administration which they say could drive away vital investments in the country.
It was reported that the government was drafting an executive order (EO) governing mining activities in the country.
Ochoa’s statement on the proposed mining policies follows in full:
“We are aware that there is much concern regarding government policies currently being studied to address the various mining issues in the country.”
“Due to the weighty issues involved and the significant impact the mining industry has on the welfare of our people and the environment, we are at present conducting additional consultations with industry stakeholders so we can adopt directives that take into consideration the interests of all those affected by the mining industry—especially the communities directly affected by mining operations—consistent with existing laws, regulations and strict environmental standards.”
“The new mining policies will be issued after we obtain the necessary input from the sectors involved and after a thorough and exhaustive assessment of the impact of these directives.” (PCOO)
Malacanang vows proposed sin tax law to provide competition among players in tobacco industry
Malacanang assured that the proposed sin tax law is designed to provide competition among all players in the tobacco industry.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the statement during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday, in response to the issue raised by some lawmakers that the proposed measure will weaken the tobacco industry.
Lacierda pointed out that the proposed amendment to the structure of sin taxes collection will remove the barriers to competition.
"The sin tax reform pack is part of the LEDAC (Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council), explained Lacierda. The sin tax provides competition, right now the tobacco industry is controlled by one major player and it controls over 90 percent of the tobacco industry and it's Philip Morris."
Lacierda said the present rules have created practically a monopoly where one company has been able to control a market share of more than 90 percent.
"The sin tax reform will provide competition among the other players. In fact, that would increase the productivity or purchasing power of the tobacco industry," he said.
Aside from removing a monopoly in the tobacco industry, the proposed measure aims to rationalize the collection of sin taxes in the country to get more revenues for the government.
"We want to index the sin taxes to inflation. There are a number of reforms that we want to do," Lacierda said.
The government expects to earn P60 billion a year from the rationalization of taxes on alcohol and tobacco products. Without such a bill, the finance department estimates that government will lose P2 billion to P2.4 billion a year by 2013. (PCOO)
Aquino invited to attend Saint Pedro Calungsod’s canonization in Rome
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has invited President Benigno S. Aquino III to attend the canonization of the Filipino saint San Pedro Calungsod in Italy this October.
In a press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and CBCP President Jose Palma said they talked to President Aquino Wednesday in Casa Roces in Malacanang Complex telling him it would be a joy to the whole nation if he could go to Rome for the canonization and to the national thanksgiving in Cebu this November.
Asked by reporters if the President accepted the invitation, Vidal said the President could have a hard time attending the canonization because it might mean also a state visit and may take time.
While the President didn’t make any assurance, Vidal said the President promised to look at his future schedules and will see if he can adjust his travel plans. He added that the Catholic Church would be very happy if the President could attend the canonization as well as the support that he could extend.
With regards to the thanksgiving mass to be held in November in Cebu, Vidal said, “The Filipino people would be grateful to God through the Mass that will be celebrated in the grounds of Cebu.”
Also during the same press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that Calungsod’s canonizationis a significant thing for the Catholic Church and also for the Philippines because the country now has a second Filipino saint.
Lacierda said the President already made a commitment to CBCP to attend the national thanksgiving in Cebu but he noted however that the schedule in Rome is another matter.
“So it’s pretty hard to fix the schedule. We already have a schedule for the visits of the President abroad. So more or less that was set already or agreed upon, so he will have to look into it,” he said.
But Lacierda clarified that the Palace is not favoring any religious group and has always been in touch with other denominations like the Iglesia ni Cristo, protestants and evangelicals.
Calungsod was born in Cebu, a diocese that covered the Panay Islands and Mindanao as well as the Pacific island of Guam.
A lay catechist, Calungsod died in Guam while trying to defend his fellow mission worker, Jesuit priest and now Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, on April 2, 1672. Calungsod was 17 years old when he died.
Pope John Paul II beatified Calungsod on March 5, 2000, along with 43 other martyrs in ceremonies held at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
The country’s first saint is Lorenzo Ruiz, a parish scribe and former altar boy born in Manila, who was martyred in Japan in 1637. He was elevated to sainthood in 1987. (PCOO)