Aquino declares April 30 as special non-working day in Dagupan in celebration of its Bangus Festival
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared April 30, which falls on a Monday as a special (non-working) day in the city of Dagupan in Pangasinan in celebration of its Bangus Festival.
The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 371 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on April 25 to give the people of Dagupan the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
The Bangus Festival kicked off on April 13 with the holding of Bangus Ed Carosa Parade and a Grand Opening Ceremony. The celebration will end on May 1.
The festival captured the world’s attention in 2003 when the city won the world Guinness record on the longest barbecue pit. The participants put 2,000 barbecue grills side by side along a two-kilometer road at the heart of the city (the A.B. Fernandez Avenue), and barbecued no less than 24,000 pieces of the city’s main delicacy - the bangus.
Peru overtook Dagupan's record in 2004, which Dagupan recaptured the following year. (PCOO)
Aquino receives Italian professor and journalist in Malacanang
President Benigno S. Aquino III received an Italian professor and journalist who also leads the public lay association Community of Sant'Egidio, which is recognized by the Catholic Church for their social development programs and bringing the people closer to God.
In a courtesy call at the Music Room of the Malacanang Palace on Thursday, Professor Marco Impagliazzo met with President Aquino where they discussed several topics that include the group’s campaign against the imposition of the death penalty globally and the plight of the Overseas Filipino Workers in Italy, among others.
Also present during the event were Ambassador Luca Fornari of the Embassy of Italy in the Philippines; Alfonso Tagliaferri, deputy head of mission of the Embassy of Italy; Valeria Martano, director of South East Asian Department, Communita di Sant'Egidio; Henrietta de Villa, former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles.
The community of Sant'Egidio (Communita di Sant'Egidio) is officially recognized by the Catholic Church as a "Church public lay association".
Its 50,000 members from more than 70 countries worldwide are focused on several activities that include prayer, centered around a reading of the Bible; spreading the Gospel to help people who are looking for a sense to their life; service to the poor that is free and unpaid; commitment to ecumenism (the Community of Sant'Egidio is also ecumenical, though being rooted in the Catholic Church) and dialogue with members of other religions and non-believers.
Founded by a group of Roman high school students led by Andrea Riccardi in Rome in the year 1968, the Community of Sant'Egidio was named after the Roman Church of Sant'Egidio (Italian for Saint Giles) in Trastevere, its first permanent meeting place.
Since then, the community has gathered each night to pray and read from the Bible, reflecting on the Gospel, eventually spreading throughout the world with a mission of helping those in need. Their activities include setting up refuges for the old, hospices for AIDS patients, and printing a handbook titled "Where to Eat, Sleep, and Wash in Rome" as gift to the homeless. (PCOO)
Aquino receives House Speaker of Malaysia in Malacanang
President Benigno S. Aquino III received one of Malaysia’s high-ranking officials in Malacanang and discussed various issues to further enhance the long-standing relations between the two countries.
In a courtesy call to President Aquino, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Pandikar Amin bin Haji Mulia, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malaysia met with the Chief Executive at the Music Room of the Malacanang Palace on Thursday.
Speaker Pandikar was accompanied by his wife Puan Sri Diana Diego; Ambassador Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad of the Embassy of Malaysia and Haji Saleh Kalbi, member of the Malaysian Parliament for Silam.
Also in attendance were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Tess Lazaro.
Prior to his call on the President, Speaker Pandikar signed the official Guestbook of the Palace.
Pandikar was a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department before assuming the Speakership of Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia.
A member of the United Malays National Organization, Pandikar became the new Speaker by the Barisan Nasional Coalition after the 2008 general elections.
Pandikar had previously served as the Speaker of the Sabah State Assembly from 1986 to 1988. (PCOO)
Aquino to lead turn-over of housing units to survivors of Typhoon Sendong in CDO
President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the turn-over on Friday of the newly constructed permanent housing units to the victims of Typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro City.
The President will distribute certificates of awards and certificates of acceptance from the local government of Cagayan de Oro City and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to some 700 families that comprise the initial batch of beneficiaries.
The government has started relocating affected residents from a ‘tent city’ to their new housing units in the Calaanan relocation site this week.
The government prioritized relocating the 500 beneficiaries and transfered them to Calaanan resettlement Phase 3 in Canitoan Village. These include the 200 families from Bgy. Macasandig who will be the first occupants of the Indahag Phase 1 resettlement site.
The development of the relocation sites was realized through tie ups with the DSWD, the local government of Cagayan de Oro and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The DSWD funded the construction of the houses while the city government of Cagayan de Oro and the DPWH developed the relocation site.
Each quadruplex housing unit, measuring 40 square meters, costs around P70,000, according to the DSWD. The National Housing Authority (NHA) also contributed additional P40,000 with the help of the Habitat for Humanity.
Aside from receiving permanent shelters, the beneficiaries will also receive livelihood assistance worth P975,000 from the government. The money will be released through the associations organized by the beneficiaries.
With that amount, the government hopes that the typhoon survivors can engage in income generating activities such as trading RTWs and cosmetics, opening up sari-sari stores, dressmaking, tailoring, longganisa-making and food processing. (PCOO)
Recto Bank gas deposit is good news for the country, Palace says
Malacanang welcomed reports confirming a huge amount of natural gas in the Recto Bank saying the gas deposits could support the country’s future energy needs.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in the regular press conference in Malacanang on Thursday that while the Palace welcomed the news, it will wait for the report from the service contractors exploring the area.
“We will wait for their disclosures. Secretary Almendras is now waiting for their report. But certainly it will be another source of energy for us and natural gas is cheaper than gas and so it’s going to be good for us,” he said.
“We’re confident that if that has been proven it will definitely help us in our energy needs,” Lacierda stressed.
Asked whether the Philippines is concerned over the discovery because China is also claiming the Recto Bank, Lacierda said “We have always maintained that Recto Bank is within 70 nautical miles of our—the lowest point, so we believe that it is ours.”
But the Presidential Spokesperson said he doesn’t want to give further comments due to the sensitivity of the issue and would leave it to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to handle.
According to a UK-based energy exploration company, results from 3D seismic surveys conducted in 2006 “indicated a mean volume of 3.4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas in place from sands tested in the three wells drilled to-date…” in Recto Bank.
The 2006 3D seismic survey showed that the gas in place is about 21 percent more than the reserves in nearby Malampaya gas field.
Recto Bank, also known as Reed Bank, is part of a territorial dispute between the Philippines and China involving the Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippine government said the ownership of Recto Bank is indisputable because it is only 70 nautical miles west of Palawan, and closer to the country’s mainland compared to the Scarborough Shoal, another flashpoint off Zambales. (PCOO)