Aquino leads awarding rites for 15th anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act
President Beningo S. Aquino III led the awarding ceremonies for the late President Corazon C. Aquino (posthumous) and eight others for their valuable help and support for the realization of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in celebration of its 15th anniversary.
The awarding rites, which has for its theme “IPRA ay Gabay sa Kaunlaran, Isaisip, Ipabatid at Isakatuparan” was held at the GSIS Theater, GSIS Building in Pasay City on Tuesday.
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) honored the late President Aquino and other stakeholders from government institutions, non-government organizations, civic society organizations, peoples organizations and indigenous organizations for their valuable help and support for the realization of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.
The late President Aquino was honored "for enshrining the policy of recognition in the Constitution and the inclusion of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) agenda in the Social Pact for Empowered Economic Development. Presidential sister Viel Aquino Dee received the plaque of recognition for the late President.
The other IPRA advocates who were presented the awards during the event include Professor Ponciano Bennagen, IP representative to the Constitutional Commission; former Congressman Gregorio A. Andolana for legislative leadership; former Congressman Jeremias Zapata (posthumous), for legislative leadership; former Congressman William F. Claver (posthumous) for legislative leadership; the Commission on Human Rights through Atty. Nasser A. Marohomsalic for the defense of the constitutionality of IPRA; Haribon Foundation, through Atty. Ronaldo R. Gutierrez, for the defense of the constitutionality of IPRA; Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute through Executive Director Karen Tanada, for helping shepherd the drafting of the bill and Interim National Indigenous Peoples Council, for pushing a law on ancestral domains and other rights of indigenous peoples as the supreme agenda of ICCs/IPS under the Social Reform Agenda.
The President also led the awarding of certificates of Ancestral Domain/Land Titles to beneficiaries represented by Pangalawang Pundador, Rodolfo Aguilar, Paula Langguyod, Panlima Amparay Das, Panlima Angelito Sanchez, heirs of Elizabeth Mat-an, Lydia Bidos, Dominador Galian, and Virginia Cuyan-Panganiban.
The NCIP also allocated P5 million to educate more indigenous peoples as a means of empowering them. The NCIP started a merit-based scholarship grant to 100 youths. The President likewise awarded the certificates of scholarship grants to the youths represented by Krichelle Mei D. Carino, Edmar B. Fronda and Mylinar B. Ligligen.
The IPRA was signed into law on October 29, 1997 by then President Fidel V. Ramos. It was hailed as a landmark legislation by government, civil society and international community
Republic Act No. 8371 was enacted to recognize, protect, and promote the rights of the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples, as well as to establish implementing mechanisms and appropriate funds for these purposes.
The advent of the IPRA Law has overshadowed speculations and unfounded doubts that the tribal peoples and communities in the Philippines are abandoned or neglected and that they are only meant to exist outside the periphery of development, much less part of national life.
Indigenous Peoples are randomly distributed all over the archipelago and are beginning to exercise their rights under IPRA. PND (js)
President Aquino says government continues to craft mechanisms toward the development and empowerment of indigenous people
The government continues to craft mechanisms towards the development and empowerment of the country's Indigenous Peoples (IPs), President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Tuesday.
In his speech at the 15th year of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act with the theme: IPRA ay Gabay sa Kaunlaran, Isa-isip, Ipabatid at Isakatuparan held at the GSIS Theater, GSIS Building, Pasay City on Tuesday, the Chief Executive underscored the need to improve the current system to address the needs and aspirations of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs).
"Ngayong umaga, nagtitipon tayo, hindi lang para magbalik-tanaw sa mga tagumpay na ibinunga ng RA 8371, ang Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. Narito tayo upang higit pang pa-igtingin ang ating dedikasyon sa paglinang at pagbibigay-lakas sa ating mga katutubo bilang mahalagang bahagi ng ating kultura’t lipunan." President Aquino said.
The President issued Executive Order No. 11 transferring the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the Office of the President of the Philippines to ensure concerted efforts in formulating and implementing policies, programs and projects geared towards the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of the ICC/IPs.
"Dahil sa Executive Order No. 11, mas masigasig nating nabibigyan ng kaukulang atensyon ang mga karapatan, pangangailangan at hangarin ng mga katutubong Pilipino. Mas mabilis na rin nating natutugunan ang kanilang mga hinaing ukol sa mga patakaran at programang nangangailangan ng maagap na koordinasyon at pagpapatupad, lalo na sa usapin ng ancestral domains," he said.
The President reiterated the government's commitment to uphold the rights and aspirations of indigenous people as mandated by the IPRA adding that it is working to grant more certificates of Ancestral Domain/Land Titles to the legitimate beneficiaries.
"Gayunpaman, pitong titulo pa lamang ang naipapamahagi natin sa ating administrasyon. Aminado po tayong sa unang tingin, mabagal ito, subalit kailangan nating maging mulat na hindi lang distribusyon ang obligasyon ng pamahalaan. Tungkulin nating linisin ang mga agiw, at tapalan ang mga butas ng nakagisnang sistema," he said.
"Bawal po ang “puwede na” sa tuwid na daan, kaya tinitiyak nating ang bawat proseso sa pagpapatitulo ay dumadaan sa tamang mga hakbang. Oras na mapatag na natin ang mga lubak, tiyak na mas bibilis ang proseso, at mas matiwasay na makakamit ng ating mga katutubo ang mga lupaing pamana na karapat-dapat nilang pakinabangan," he said.
According to the President, the government also recognizes the inherent rights of the indigenous people and their cultural communities to self-governance and empowerment and cultural integrity.
"Ngayon, sa tuwid na daan, tungkulin nating iwasto at tiyaking may dignidad at paggalang ang pagtanaw at pakikitungo natin sa mga katutubo. Bilang inyong Pangulo—at higit sa lahat, bilang inyong kapwa Pilipino—mananatiling bukas ang aking pintuan sa inyong mga mungkahi para sa pagpapanday ng mga bagong paraan upang mapangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mga katutubo nating kababayan," he said.
He noted that government continues to uphold social justice and human rights to achieve genuine peace.
"Noong 1986, sa EDSA, mapayapa nating pinabagsak ang diktaturya. Noong huling pampanguluhang halalan, isinatinig ng mahigit labinlimang milyong Pilipinong tapusin na ang kurapsyon at kahirapan, at nitong buwan lamang, nilagdaan ng pamahalaan at ng MILF ang kasunduang bubuo sa Bangsamoro upang wakasan ang apat na dekada ng karahasan sa rehiyon, at maghatid ng liwanag at pag-asa sa Mindanao," he said.
"Sinisiguro ko po sa inyo: walang imposible sa nagkakaisang Pilipino. Hangga’t namamayani ang katarungan at kapayapaan sa bawat sulok ng lipunan; hangga’t integridad at katapatan lamang ang tumitimon sa ating mga lingkod-bayan; hangga’t respeto, malasakit at pagkakapantay-pantay ang nananaig sa bawat puso ng mamamayan, tinitiyak ko po sa inyo, walang hindi magagawa ang lahing Pilipino," he said.
Among those who attended the event were Justice Secretary Leila de Lima; Congressman Teddy Baguilat; Government Service Insurance System chairman Daniel Lacson; National Commission on Indigenous Peoples chair Zenaida Pawid, Commissioner Conchita Calzado; Commissioner Rene Sarmiento; IPRA advocates and members of the indigenous cultural communities; recipients of the certificates of ancestral domain titles/ancestral land titles and scholarship grants, as well as fellow workers in government. PND (js)
Malacanang extends sympathies, support to Americans and Filipino-American communities affected by Hurricane ‘Sandy’ in Eastern Seaboard of the United States
Malacanang expressed sympathies and extended support to the American people, especially to the Filipino-American communities, who are being seriously affected by Hurricane “Sandy” saying that the Aquino government is confident that they will surpass the catastrophe through prayers and faith in Divine Providence.
In a statement during a regular press briefing at Malacanang on Tuesday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that Filipinos are one in offering prayers for the safety of those who are presently being hammered down by the natural calamity.
“As Hurricane Sandy batters the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, we extend our sympathies and support to all those affected by this calamity. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who are facing these difficult times, among them the Filipino-American community,” Valte said.
“The devastation caused by the storm continues to unfold, but we are confident that the resolve of the American people to overcome this catastrophe remains steadfast, strong, and unbending,” she added.
Recent reports noted that Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest storms that ever hit the United States. It was initially spotted to hit the gambling resort of Atlantic City in New Jersey with strong winds and heavy rains on Monday forcing evacuations in the area and shutting down transportation.
Over three million people were left without electricity due to the rise of floodwaters in several areas.
The Philippine embassy said that there were no Filipinos affected by the calamity as of early Tuesday. PND (jcl/1:50 p.m.)
President Aquino leads 21st anniversary of the Bureau of Fire Protection
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday led the 21st anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) acknowledging the significant reforms sown by the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo which are now being continued by his successor, Manuel Roxas, towards the improvement of the said agency.
In his speech, President Aquino recounted how BFP was transformed from an agency once hounded by controversies involving some officials who went awry to an institution with servicemen that would dare risk their lives in order to save the lives of Filipinos from danger.
The President said he understands the perils that firemen are facing in their line of duty which is why the government is working hard to complement their efforts and sacrifices by providing their needs in terms of equipment and additional benefits.
In line with this, President Aquino cited the considerable steps taken by Secretary Robredo during his incumbency which, he said, allowed the bureau to acquire 76 Austrian Rosenbauer 1,000-gallon water pumper fire trucks through a loan agreement between the government and the UniCredit Bank of Austria.
He announced that 12 out of these arriving 76 Rosenbauer fire trucks will be ready for use by December of this year and the remaining 64 units shall be delivered to the bureau by next year.
The President, moreover, expressed gratitude to Kim Jong Kee of the Korean Federation of Fire Associations (KFFA) for the four fire trucks they contributed which, will be a great help to communities that are in need of these equipment for their disaster response operations.
He also lauded the DILG-BFP for successfully signing a convergence program called “Buying a Living Tree System” with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Panatag tayo sa pawis at panahon na ididilig ng mga piling komunidad, katuwang ang iba’t ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan, maaalagaan at mapapayabong pa natin ang ating mga likas na yaman. Gayundin, sa handog nitong hanapbuhay, mapagiginhawa natin ang kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan,” the President said.
The Chief Executive reiterated that the government will keep on pushing for its housing project for the members of the BFP to give them the respite and relief they so deserve. He said the administration is targeting to distribute about 1,800 to intended beneficiaries by August 2013.
“Sa mga benepisyaryo nito, hindi lamang mapapababa sa dalawandaang piso kada buwan ang ibabayad ninyo para sa bahay, paglaon, magiging pag-aari ninyo na rin ang naipatayong tahanan, at tayo po’y nag-uumpisa pa lang. Bago matapos ang taong ito, inaasahan na ring makumpleto ang procurement ng dagdag pa ninyong mga kasangkapan—tulad ng coat, trouser, bota, helmet, at iba pa. Naniniwala pa rin po tayo, kakambal ng mas maayos na kagamitan ang mas mabuting kakayanan sa paglilingkod,” he stressed.
“Tinanong ko ulit kay Secretary Roxas, kausap ko ang inyong OIC—ilista natin, ano ba talaga ang mga kailangan n’yo? Hindi ko naman masasabi sa inyong matulog kayo ngayon, bukas ide-deliver na, pero palagay ko kakayanin kong harapin kayo bawat isa at masabing, ‘Hindi kami titigil hanggang mapuno ang inyong kakulangan at talaga namang madama na n’yo na talagang kayong kumakalinga sa lipunan ay kinakalinga rin ng lipunan,’ he emphasized.
The President Aquino recognized that continuing the reforms implemented by the late Secretary Robredo is both a “challenge” and an “opportunity” adding that it’s up to the BFP under the supervision of Secretary Roxas to uphold these developments.
“Nag-iwan na ng bakas ang kanyang mga tsinelas—tanda ito sa layo na ng ating narating, at sa layo pa ng ating lalakbayin. Umaasa ako sa bawat isa sa inyo – kasama kayong tatahak sa tapat at tuwid na landas ng pagseserbisyo-publiko. Wala nang hilahan, wala nang atrasan, pasulong lang ang ating hakbang tungo sa kaunlaran,” President Aquino said. PND (hdc)
Malacanang welcomes Nielsen Company’s Survey ranking the Philippines second in Global Consumer Confidence
The Philippines ranked second in a Global Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by the Nielsen Company, a Palace official said.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the latest survey represents a two-point increase in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the second quarter this year.
With a score of 118, the Philippines comes second only to India and Indonesia which both share the top spot with 119 among 58 countries surveyed.
"The bullish consumer sentiment shows a positive attitude towards the Philippine economy, one bright spot in only 12 countries that registered “more optimism” out of the 58 surveyed," Valte said.
Valte pointed out that the survey’s index notes that a score of 101 and higher indicates more optimism while a score of 100 and lower means more pessimism.
She said the Philippines bested Thailand by 6 points and Malaysia by 13 points. Singapore with a score of 98 and Vietnam with 87 both measured below the index of 100. PND (js)