Monday, 26 November 2012

PIA News Dispatch - Monday, November 26, 2012

President Aquino confers Quezon Service Cross on DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo (posthumous)
 President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the Quezon Service Cross Award on the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo in ceremonies held in Malacañang on Monday.

 In his speech, President Aquino said the Quezon Service Cross Award was a fitting tribute to Robredo whom he said embodied the ideal traits of a good leader and public servant: honesty, dedication and humility.

 “Kinakatawan ni Jesse ang mga katangian ng isang tunay na lingkod-bayan: matapat, masigasig, at mapagkumbaba. Batid niyang bilang kawani ng gobyerno, ang una at ang huli niyang tungkulin ay ang pagsilbihan ang bandila, at iangat ang kanyang kapwa—anumang pansariling sakripisyo ang kaakibat nito. Alam ito ng kanyang pamilya’t malalapit na kaibigan, alam ito ng kanyang mga kababayang Nagueño, at alam ito ng kanyang mga nakasalamuhang Pilipino ---nasa puso ni Jesse ang pagseserbisyo,” the President said.

 “Sa araw pong ito, nakamit ni Jesse Robredo ang pinakamataas na parangal sa bansa, sa paglilingkod na nakasandig sa pagpapakumbaba. Kanyang pinatunayan na hindi laging naipapamalas ang kadakilaan sa lakas ng puwersa, sa katapangan, o sa kagitingan. Isang simpleng taong kumakalinga sa simpleng tao ---dito po natin maaalala ang pangalang Jesse Manalastas Robredo,” he added.

 In response, Robredo’s widow Leni, who accepted the award in behalf of their family, expressed her deepest appreciation for the Quezon Service Cross Award which, she said, is truly a “huge honor.”

 “It is such a privilege for us to accept the highest national recognition of outstanding civilian service that the republic can give. To be awarded this award which was proposed by President Manuel Roxas in honor of our illustrious President Manuel L. Quezon, and to be mentioned alongside awardees Carlos P. Romulo, Emilio Aguinaldo, Ramon Magsaysay, and Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. is truly a huge honor,” Robredo said.

 “With the conferment of the Quezon Service Cross Award, we can only hope that there will be more people like him who will serve rather than criticize, collaborate rather than divide, build up rather than tear down, and engage in order to understand,” she added.

 The Quezon Service Cross Award is the highest recognition the State can bestow on its citizens. It was created through a proposal by former President Manuel Roxas in honor of President Manuel L. Quezon to serve as the highest honor of the Republic.

 With the award, Robredo joins former president of the United Nation General Assembly Carlos P. Romulo, former presidents Emilio Aguinaldo and Ramon Magsaysay, and the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr., as the fifth person to receive the prestigious award. PND (rck)
Abad says implementation of Performance-Based Bonus system to reform ‘bureaucratic culture’
 The government is working towards reaching a “truly genuine meritocracy system” for government employees in order to boost moral and improve the overall delivery of goods and services to the Filipino people, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said on Monday.

 In a press briefing in Malacañang, Abad said the implementation of the “ground-breaking incentive system” called the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) system will “reshape bureaucratic culture” with a “culture of excellence in the bureaucracy.”

 The Performance-Based Bonus is a strictly merit-based incentive system given to deserving government employees for exemplary work in government service. Unlike other bonuses, an employee receives the Performance-Based Bonus based on how well he serves the public with the ultimate objective of delivering public goods and services among our people.

 “Reshaping the bureaucratic culture through Performance-Based Bonus will be contentious at first because it is new and it has never been done before but we hope that eventually, it will ease itself into general acceptance among those in the bureaucracy,” Abad said.

 “When you institute such a culture of excellence in the bureaucracy and make it a regular way of doing public service, government employees will then make a habit of turning out exemplary work day after day,” he added.

 “This in turn reinforces the new culture of service in every agency, ultimately establishing a bureaucracy that is effective, efficient and decidedly service-oriented,” Abad said.

 He noted that with the new incentive system, a level-playing field where employee performance will be the basis of the distribution of incentives will be implemented.

 “When the government is able to provide better services and goods to all Filipinos, that means we are making the most of every peso spent by the government. At the very end, this means that none of your taxes are wasted from bureaucratic inefficiencies and performance gaps,” Abad said.

 “What we also want to communicate and emphasize to all government employees is that we are finally moving towards a genuine meritocracy in government. For the first time, we are instituting an accountable way of rewarding our government workers where personal biases or elbow grease won’t buy any favors,” he said. PND (rck)

President Aquino creates special teams to probe human rights violations
 President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered the creation of special teams to investigate human rights abuses by state and non-state forces and ensure a focused probe and speedy resolution of all unsolved and new cases, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Monday.

 Ochoa said the special teams would form part of the inter-agency committee (IAC), which the President established under Administrative Order (AO) No. 35 he signed on November 22, that will exclusively handle cases of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other forms of human rights violations.

 “This presidential directive reinforces the Aquino administration’s resolve to uphold and protect the rights of the people,” Ochoa said. “We believe that the creation of this high-level committee will be a more effective mechanism in handling and monitoring cases of human rights violations,” Ochoa explained.

 According to Ochoa, AO 35 takes effect immediately and replaces AO No. 211 issued in 2007 that created the Task Force Against Political Violence. The presidential directive directs the task force to turn over all documents, data, reports, supplies, resources and its remaining budget to the IAC.

 “The President envisions the administrative order to harmonize and standardize the government’s policies and action plan for resolving human rights abuses. This way we can have a focused investigation and speedy resolution of all the cases,” Ochoa added.

 One of the first tasks of the IAC is to organize special teams and a technical working group to carry out the immediate inventory of all alleged human rights violations committed by state and non-state forces; monitor the development of cases which are pending in courts or under investigation, and conduct an investigation into unsolved and new cases, as well as prosecute the perpetrators.

 Under AO 35, the secretary of the Department of Justice (DoJ) serves as chairperson of the IAC, which members include the head of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), the secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Defense (DND), the presidential advisers of the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Political Affairs (OPAPA), chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National police chief and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) director.

 The chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Ombudsman sit as observers and resource persons in the IAC.

 The IAC is required to submit to the President every six months a progress report, a detailed inventory of pending human rights abuse cases, and accomplishment and recommendations, among others.

 The President has asked all other government agencies and local government units to give their full support and cooperation to the IAC to make sure that the AO 35’s objectives and the committee’s mandate are achieved.

 The initial budget requirement of the committee will be taken from the current appropriation of the agencies comprising the IAC and subsequent funding will be incorporated in their respective regular budgets.