Sunday, 4 November 2012

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, October 31, 2012

President Aquino declares November 15 as special non-working day in Occidental Mindoro in commemoration of its 62nd Foundation Day
 President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared November 15, which falls on a Thursday, as a special (non-working) day in the province of Occidental Mindoro in commemoration of its 62nd Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No.484 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on October 4 to give the people of Occidental Mindoro the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

In 1950, Occidental Mindoro became an independent province by virtue of Republic Act No. 505 otherwise known as "An Act to Create the Provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro." PND (js)

President Aquino vows support for country's export industry, says exporters should be ready when the world recovers from recession
 The country’s export sector must be ready when the world recovers from the current economic slowdown, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Tuesday.

 Speaking during the 20th anniversary of Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) in Pasay City, President Aquino said it’s hard to predict when the current economic slowdown will end noting however that the Philippine exporters can seize opportunities from the current uncertainties.

The President acknowledged that it is a challenging time for the country’s export sector as major markets such as Europe and the United States encounter economic woes.

Since no one can foresee when the slowdown will last, the President said, the most prudent thing to do for the export industry is to continue looking for new markets and improve production efficiencies.

The Chief Executive said he remains confident in the country’s ability to weather the storm, adding that despite the current crisis, the Philippines is able to post positive growth and continues to attract foreign investors.

“This gives me optimism that when the world recovers from the recession, our exports sector will be ready. In this regard, you can count on your government’s support. All I ask is that you continue what you have been doing these past several years, and that you stand by us as we pursue our agenda of reform,” the President said.

“In return, we will stand by you now, when things are tough, and in the future, when things will undoubtedly be better,” he added.

Although the government achieved significant gains in the initial years of the administration, President Aquino said there’s a lot of things that are still to be done as he cited the country’s potential to reach far higher than where it is now.

The government will do everything in its power to build on the present momentum, the President said. The administration will continue to recognize the value of the country’s exports, acknowledging the sector’s contributions that the Philippines can capitalize on.

 Philexport reported that the industry posted positive export performance for the first eight months of 2012, with cumulative merchandise exports of 5.4 percent growth to $35.2 billion from $33.4 billion recorded during the same period last year.

Among the major government contributions for the country’s export industry include the approval of the Philippine Export Development Plan 2011 to 2013, export programs for increased market access through free-trade agreements, the release of the P80 million export promotion fund, the creation of infrastructure that boost exports, and the positive signals from the central bank to promote competitive currency. PND (as/11:57pm)

Aquino expects NAIA 3 negotiations completed by November to restart works
 President Benigno S. Aquino III said he hopes that the ongoing negotiations between the government and Takenaka Corp. could be concluded this November to make the Ninoy Aquino Terminal International Airport Terminal 3 fully operational.

 The President visited the NAIA 3 Wednesday to see to it that the facility serves the people well as they go to the provinces this All Saints Day.

 But he acknowledged NAIA 3’s limitations because the facility isn’t 100 percent operational. For instance the air-conditioning units were just partially completed, he said.

 “Hopefully matatapos natin itong Nobyembre 'ang ibang mga negosasyon para matapos na nga buong-buo 'ang building na 'yan,” he told reporters in an interview during his NAIA 3 visit.

 The government opted to negotiate with Takenaka Corp., the original contractor of the project, to immediately finish all the works and make it 100-percent operational.

 “Ang haba 'ng negotiations na dinaanan… imbes na nagdemandahan tayo, aabot ng pagputi ng uwak bago matapos, dito nagkaroon ng negotiations para nga magamit natin nang buo at kumpletong-kumpleto ‘ang NAIA-3,” the President said.

 “Twenty-three systems ang incomplete—siguro roughly mga kalahati lang ‘ang natapos ‘nung iniwan sa ating mga kamay at hindi naman ura-urada pwede ng ipagawa kung hindi natapos lahat itong mga negosasyong ito.”

 The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Takenaka Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding in Japan last March.

 The move was seen as the first legal step to complete NAIA 3, which has been operating below its maximum capacity since it opened four years ago.

 The Philippine International Air Terminals Co. contracted Takenaka to build NAIA 3 in 1998 but works stopped in 2002 over allegations of anomalies.

 Under the MOU, Takenaka will complete the 23 airport systems critical to NAIA 3's full operations by the end of the year or early 2013.

 These systems include fire alarm and protection system, flight information display system, building management system, local area network, baggage handling and reconciliation system and passenger loading bridges.

 The government is expected to spend $45 million for the installation and rehabilitation of the 23 systems at the NAIA 3, according to the DOTC. PND (as/3:32pm)

Aquino inspects facilities of NAIA-3, bus terminal in Pasay City
 President Benigno S. Aquino III visited on Wednesday the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and a bus terminal in Pasay City to ensure that the government's contingency measures are in place for the safety and orderly travel of passengers during the observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

 The Chief Executive first inspected the Terminal 3 of the NAIA at 1:20 p.m. Accompanied by newly-appointed Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio "Jun" Abaya, President Aquino toured the domestic departure area and the self-service check-in Kiosk of Cebu Pacific.

 President Aquino also talked with the male operator of the X-ray machine and watched how the system is working. He also checked on the operations of the Oplan Help Desk which is composed of Manila International Airport Authority Medical Team, Philippine National Police and Public Affairs Officers.

 Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado briefed President Aquino on the airport's operations, including the new innovations that will be implemented starting November 1. The President was also briefed about the security set-up at the strategic places in the airport.

 From NAIA, the President went to the Philtranco Bus Terminal at the corner of EDSA and Apello Cruz also in Pasay City where he inspected the pre-departure area, canteen and other areas. He even went inside a waiting public utility bus to briefly talk with the passengers and talked with the employees and passengers at the pre-departure area.

 "Palagay ko naman ho maayos, Tandaan lang natin ang NAIA-3 hindi pa ho tapos ang gusaling 'yan. Marami pang kailangang gawin at parang nagkaliwanag na ho ngayon doon sa timetables para matapos at para magamit natin ang NAIA-3," the President said when asked to comment on his visits to the airport’s facility and bus terminal.

 The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has launched “Oplan Ligtas Byahe: Undas 2012” to ensure the orderly and convenient travel for motorists and commuters.

 As part of the program, Abaya checked the ongoing rehabilitation and preparations being made at the NAIA Terminals 1 and 3. Airport personnel started beefing up security measures with the expected influx of passengers going to their respective provinces. PND (js)