Aquino receives the chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Malacanang
President Benigno S. Aquino III received the head of an American independent foreign aid agency to discuss various ways on how to win the battle against poverty and to promote programs that will ensure to uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
In a courtesy call at the President’s Hall of the Malacanang Palace, Friday, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) chief executive officer Daniel W. Yohannes met with President Aquino and some members of the cabinet.
In attendance during the event were United States (US) Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, US Embassy deputy chief of mission Brian Goldbeck, MCC resident country director Matthew Bohn, MCC resident country director John Polk, MCC assistant general counsel and deputy chief of staff Lia Hanley, MCC public affairs director Linda Herda, Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P) managing director and CEO Ma. Victoria Anonuevo and MCA-P communications and outreach specialist Andres Saracho.
Also present for the Philippine side were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, National Economic and Development Authority director general Arsenio M. Balisacan, Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Rafael Yabut and acting assistant secretary Gina Jamoralin of the Office of American Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an innovative and independent US foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty.
Created by the US Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC is changing the conversation on how best to deliver smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership, and results.
MCC forms partnerships with some of the world’s poorest countries, but only those committed to good governance, economic freedom and investments in their citizens.
MCC provides these well-performing countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth. MCC grants complement other U.S. and international development programs.
The two primary types of MCC grants are compact and threshold programs. Compact Programs are large, five-year grants for countries that pass MCC’s eligibility criteria while the Threshold Programs are smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to passing these criteria and are firmly committed to improving their policy performance.
MCC has approved over 8.4 billion US dollars in compact and threshold programs worldwide that support country-determined projects in various sectors that include agriculture and irrigation, transportation (roads, bridges, ports), water supply and sanitation, access to health, finance and enterprise development, anticorruption initiatives, land rights and access to education.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Board of Directors has approved a five-year, $434 million Compact Program grant with the Philippines aimed at reducing poverty through economic growth. The said grant is intended to support reforms and investments to modernize the Bureau of Internal Revenue, expand and improve a community-driven development project, the DSWD’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-CIDSS), and rehabilitate a secondary national road in Samar province.
MCC is managed by a chief executive officer, who is part of the nine-member Board of Directors. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the USAID Administrator serve on the board along with four private sector representatives. PND (jcl/12:00 nn)
Aquino declares November 12 as special non-working day in Gumaca, Quezon in celebration of its Foundation Day
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared November 12 as a special (non-working) day in the municipality of Gumaca in the province of Quezon in celebration of its Foundation Day.
The Chief Executive issued the declaration by virtue of Proclamation No. 429 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on July 10 to give the people of Gumaca the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
Formerly known as Bumaka (meaning "to fight"), the present town of Gumaca was a settlement founded at the southern bank of Palanas River (which later came to be known as Pipisik River) in the 14th century by a group of settlers from Borneo and Malay Peninsula. It is in fact only 11 years younger than the city of Manila. PND (js)
President Aquino appoints four envoys to different posts abroad
President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed four ambassadors to different posts abroad, a Palace official said.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced the appointments during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. transmitted the appointment letters of the new Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, according to Valte.
The Chief Executive signed the appointment letter of Alex G. Chua as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Union of Myanmar.
President Aquino, likewise, signed the appointment letter of Ricardo M. Endaya as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Iran with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
He named Sahid S. Glang as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The President also appointed Domingo C. Lucenario as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with concurrent jurisdiction over the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Tajikistan. PND (js)
Malacanang announces new set of appointed government officials
Malacanang bared the new set of appointed officials who are all expected to perform their respective responsibilities in pushing for initiatives that will ensure the attainment of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s social contract with the Filipino people.
In a press briefing at the Press Working Area of the New Executive Building, Friday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced the appointment of new officials under the various agencies of the Aquino government that include the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Justice (DOJ).
Appointed as Members of the Board of Directors, Philippine International Trading Corporation PHARMA, Inc. (PPI) under the DTI were Ma. Lourdes F. Rebueno, Bienvenido S. Bautista, Ma. Lourdes T. Baua and Aurora Ma. F. Timbol.
They will be serving the term of office from July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2013.
For the DOE, appointed as Member of the Board of Directors, PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation (PNOC-STC) is Ma. Gladys C. Sta. Rita. She will be serving in her new post from July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2013.
Appointed as Member, Board of Administrators, Representing Visayas, Cooperative Development Authority under the DOF is Mercedes D. Castillo, whose term will expire on July 30, 2018.
Also appointed to serve as Assistant Secretary for Foreign Assisted and Special Projects of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was Rommel R. Abesamis.
Under the National Prosecution Service, Department of Justice, appointed as Prosecutor IV (City Prosecutor), Office of the Prosecutor – Ormoc City was Atty. Marcelo C. Oñate and Atty. Renato C. Samonte as Prosecutor IV (Provincial Prosecutor), Office of the Provincial Prosecutor – Bulacan. PND (jcl/3:35 p.m.)
President Aquino leaves Sunday for state visits to New Zealand and Australia
President Benigno S. Aquino III will leave on Sunday for State Visits to New Zealand and Australia to strengthen bilateral relations with the two countries, a Palace official said on Friday.
The Chief Executive will fly to New Zealand on October 22 to 23 and to Australia on October 24 to 26, upon the invitation of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, respectively.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during the regular press briefing that President Aquino will first proceed to Auckland in New Zealand where he will meet with the Filipino community.
"He will also deliver a speech in a business forum to be attended by the Philippines-New Zealand Business Council as well as the New Zealand-Philippines Business Council. Magkakaroon din po nang pagkakataon ang Pangulo na magkaroon ng one-on-one meetings with some New Zealand corporations," Valte said.
From Auckland, Valte said, the President will proceed to Wellington, the country’s capital, to meet with Prime Minister Key and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
"Pagkatapos po noon, in Canberra, that is already in Australia, the President will also meet with the Prime Minister and the Governor-General. And they are expected to update each other on current developments in the country primarily the signing of the Framework Agreement with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) as well as political, economic, defense, and development common---mutual developments subjects," Valte said.
From Canberra, the President will proceed to Sydney where he is scheduled to deliver his keynote address at the Philippines-Australia Business Forum.
The President will also meet with top CEOs in a roundtable setting and have one-on-one meetings with several Australian companies. He will again deliver another address to the Asia Society of Australia and the Australia Philippine Business Council.
President Aquino will be unveiling a statue of Dr. Jose Rizal in Campbelltown in Sydney. He will also meet and interact with the members of the Filipino Community in Australia.
President Aquino will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang.
There are 36,000 Filipinos living in New Zealand, while 224,000 are in Australia. PND (js)
President Aquino receives Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying of the People's Republic of China in Malacanang
President Benigno S. Aquino III received People's Republic of China (PROC) Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying in Malacanang Palace on Friday.
Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying who paid a courtesy call at the President's Hall was accompanied by Ma Keqing, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China; Hong Liang, Deputy Director-General of the Asian Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dai Qingli, Counsellor of the Asian Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Yin Haihong, Director of the Asian Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Wang Hong Liu, Deputy Director of the Asian Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Also in attendance were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying arrived in Manila on Thursday. She met with Foreign Affairs Secretary del Rosario at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Main Building in Pasay City before the start of the 18th Foreign Ministry Consultations on Friday.
The Philippine and Chinese panels to the 18th Foreign Ministry Consultations (FMC) affirmed the commitment of their respective governments to promote the comprehensive development of bilateral relations between the Philippines and China, the DFA said in a statement.
The 18th FMC was held in Manila on October 19 and covered trade, tourism, science and technology, judicial and law enforcement, culture, people-to-people exchanges and other issues of mutual concern. Both sides also discussed issues of concern and agreed to continue the dialogue.
The 18th FMC reviewed the status of bilateral relations in general, and in particular, the implementation in the past ten months of projects identified at the last consultation. It also explored mechanisms that will help realize the agreements reached between President Benigno S. Aquino III and Chinese President Hu Jintao last year to target U.S.$60 billion in bilateral trade and two million two-way tourism arrivals by 2016.
Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying headed the Chinese panel while Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for policy was headed by Erlinda F. Basilio.
Secretary del Rosario expressed confidence that the Philippine and Chinese delegations to the FMC will forge a common path towards normalizing and moving forward the bilateral relations and implement the consensus reached between President Aquino and President Hu during the former’s State Visit to China last year. PND (js)
Bilateral talks meetings with Filipino community top Aquino’s agenda in New Zealand, Australia visits
Meetings with state leaders, business executives, and the Filipino community top President Benigno S. Aquino III’s agenda on his week-long state visits to New Zealand and Australia from October 22 to 26, Malacañang said on Friday.
Both trips are particularly aimed at developing stronger and closer bilateral ties with New Zealand and Australia especially in terms of political, defense, economic cooperation, and people-to-people relations.
President Aquino has scheduled meetings with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae in its capital, Wellington, and Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Governor-General Quentin Bryce which will also be held in its capital city of Canberra.
Among the issues that President Aquino is expected to discuss with his counterparts is the recent historic signing of the Framework Agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
President Aquino also earlier mentioned at a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) last Wednesday that the Philippines will be offering Australia its third strategic partnership.
“We only have two strategic partnerships—one in the United States of America and the other with Japan. We're offering the third to Australia and they are presently studying it,” the President was quoted saying.
President Aquino is scheduled to depart Manila on Sunday evening (October 21) with a lean delegation that includes: Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, and other Cabinet Secretaries who will also be meeting with their respective counterparts.
In Auckland, New Zealand, the President will meet with the Filipino community and deliver a speech at a business forum to be attended by the Philippines-New Zealand Business Council and the New Zealand-Philippines Business Council. He will also have one-on-one meetings with some New Zealand corporations there.
In Sydney, Australia, the President will likewise deliver a keynote address at the Philippines-Australia Business Forum and meet with top CEOs in a roundtable setting and have one-on-one meetings with several Australian companies.
He will again deliver another address to The Asia Society of Australia and the Australia Philippine Business Council before going to Campbelltown to unveil a statue of Dr. Jose Rizal in Sydney.
The President will also make time to interact with the members of the Filipino Community in Australia where he is expected to encourage them to help raise the profile of the Philippines by being knowledgeable and competent sources of information on their home country, be it on history and culture, business, and tourism, among others.
Around 36,000 Filipinos are currently residing in New Zealand comprising one percent of its total population. Australia, on the other hand, has about 224,000 Filipinos making the Philippines as one of its top 10 sources of countries for recent migrant arrivals. PND (hdc)