Wednesday, 29 August 2012

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aquino confers Order of Sikatuna on outgoing Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Philippines

President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Grand Cross (Datu, Silver Distinction) on outgoing Ambassador Robert Gerard Brinks of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in ceremonies at Malacanang.

In his farewell call at the Music Room of the Malacanang Palace on Wednesday, the Chief Executive presented the award to Ambassador Brinks for his significant works in various fields as Netherlands's envoy to the Philippines that further strengthened the bilateral relations between the two countries during his five-year tour of duty in the country.

These include the maritime sector, specific visa issuance policies, combating human trafficking, the promotion of human rights and the preservation of cultural heritage.

The Dutch envoy has actively participated in the country’s maritime sector through the Netherlands-Philippines Maritime Institute in Palompon, that train cadets along Dutch standards for wok in Dutch vessels.

He has maintained close cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the Dutch Ship-owners association in efforts to address issues in the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in a way that both the interests of the ship-owners and the Philippines are served.

Ambassador Brinks also introduced a Philippine specific visa policy to address the increasing number of visa applicants from the Philippines, reducing the waiting period for the issuance of visas to three days for seafarers and one week for other types.

He has likewise pushed for the enhancement of efforts to combat human trafficking from the Philippines and adopt an integrated approach at the Dutch Embassy dedicating most of its financial and manpower resources to address this illegal activity.

The Dutch envoy pushed for the promotion of human rights through close coordination and cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights, other concerned private entities and the promotion of programs on this cause.

Ambassador Brinks has been a steadfast friend of the Filipino people throughout his tour of duty in the country.

Witnessing the event were Ruth G.M. Emmerink, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of The Netherlands in Manila and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda F. Basilio, among others.

The Philippines and The Netherlands have been enjoying close relations since 1598 when a Dutch naval merchant fleet entered the Philippine waters for the first time. Over time, this relationship has flourished and today the Dutch are present in the Philippines in many different ways.

Dutch companies, both large multinationals and Small and Medium Enterprises have strongly contributed to trade and commercial ties and nurtured links between the two countries.

At present, Dutch companies operate within a wide range of sectors, among these are in agriculture, shipping and maritime services, information technology and energy supply. Equally important are the people to people contacts, the activities of several Dutch Non-Government Organizations and the initiatives of many private Dutch organizations and citizens working closely with disadvantaged groups in Philippine society. (jcl/11:30 a.m.)

Aquino declares September 4 as special non-working day in Monkayo, Compostela Valley in celebration of its 58th Foundation Day and 17th Kariyawan Festival

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared September 4, which falls on a Tuesday, as a special (non-working) day in the municipality of Monkayo in the province of Compostela Valley in celebration of its 58th Foundation Day and 17th Kariyawan Festival.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 450 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Aug. 9, 2012 to give the people of the municipality of Monkayo the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

On September 4, 1954, Monkayo became a municipality by virtue of a Presidential Executive Order No. 65 by the late President Ramon Magsaysay.

Kariyawan Festival is being celebrated together with the Araw ng Monkayo every 4th day of September. (js)

Malacanang says President Aquino to announce Robredo's successor before he leaves for the APEC Leaders' Summit next week

President Benigno S. Aquino III will appoint a new Interior and Local Government Secretary before he leaves for Russia to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit next week, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

But while the President is still looking for somebody who will replace the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. will remain as Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang.

The President’s main consideration for the replacement would be someone who can continue carrying out reforms that he envisioned for local governance and the police.

“Secretary Robredo has done so much for the improvement of local governance through the local governments and so reforms that have been started by Secretary Robredo will be a continuing policy under the new secretary of the Interior and Local Government,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda also said the Chief Executive hasn’t spoken of any candidate that would replace Robredo but he is seriously considering the best successor for Robredo.

Robredo, who died in a plane crash in Masbate on August 18, was given a state funeral by the Aquino administration. President Aquino also conferred on him the Philippine Legion of Honor with the rank of Chief Commander (posthumous) prior to his burial Tuesday. (as/2:02pm)

President Aquino to leave next week for Vladivostok in Russia to attend the 20th APEC Leaders' Summit

President Benigno S. Aquino III will travel to Vladivostok, Russia, next week to join the 20 other world leaders attending the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit on September 8 to 9.

This year’s APEC summit, which has for its theme "Integrate to Grow, Innovate to Prosper," is hosted by the Russian Federation.

President Aquino will be joined by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

During the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM), the leaders will discuss four priorities namely: trade and investment liberalization and regional economic integration, strengthening food security, establishing reliable supply chains, and cooperation to foster innovative growth.

Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura del Rosario of the Department of Foreign Affairs said the President will also participate in the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue with the Leaders, a key feature of the AELM.

The APEC Business Advisory Council Dialogue gives ABAC members the opportunity to meet with the APEC leaders to discuss the entire year’s ABAC work program and to raise issues of pressing concern to the business community.

ABAC Philippines will be represented by A. Magsaysay Inc. president and chief executive officer Doris Magsaysay, Jollibee Food Corp. Chairman and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong, and Ayala Corp. chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Undersecretary Del Rosario also said that during the 20th APEC Summit in Vladivostok, President Aquino will also be holding bilateral meetings with other countries.

Del Rosario also said that during this summit, the announcement of the Philippines' hosting of the APEC summit in 2015 is expected through the APEC Leaders’ Declaration.

APEC is an organization of economies in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in Asia-Pacific region.

It has 21 members which account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, approximately 54 percent of the world gross domestic product and about 44 percent of world trade. (co)

Aquino urges Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines to be partners of the government in nation building

President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) to work together with the government to sustain the momentum along the straight and righteous path towards the realization of the country’s great potential.

"We in government remain steadfast in fulfilling our shared task of positive national transformation," the Chief Executive said in his message to the CEAP on the occasion of its 2012 National Convention on Wednesday.

The CEAP, the country's largest educational association, opened on Wednesday the 2012 National Convention at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The convention would end on Friday.

"Your institutions play a vital role in the values formation of our students, and we in government are pleased to have you as part of the private education sector, transforming our youth into God-fearing, goal-oriented, responsible citizens,” the President said.

He expressed hope that the occasion reaffirms “your commitment to strengthening the curriculum administration and teaching competencies of your 1,345 member-schools, in response to the challenges of our globalized milieu.”

"Indeed, the tenets of our faith that are essential to your collective are also vital to realizing the principles of equality and fairness, as articulated by our Social Contract with the Filipino People," the President said. (js/4:46pm)