Thursday, 27 December 2012

PIA News Dispatch - Thursday, December 27, 2012

Achievements and reforms should put to rest all doubts on Aquino administration’s ability to lead – Lacierda

 The list of achievements and reforms implemented by President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2012 should silence all skeptics and doubting Thomases on his ability to rid government of its deeply entrenched image of corruption and lead the Filipino people to inclusive prosperity and justice, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Thursday.

 In a statement, Lacierda said President Aquino’s achievements for 2012 to establish lasting peace, boost investments in infrastructure and people, and further strengthen the economy have all contributed to making the Philippines a “bastion of stability and good governance.”

 “When the Filipino people gave an overwhelming mandate to President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2010, there were those who remained skeptical of the extent of reforms that can be instituted, given the entrenched culture of corruption and mistrust of government,” Lacierda said.

 “The many achievements of the Aquino administration in 2012 should put those doubts to rest. At home and around the world, the Philippines has become recognized as a bastion of stability and good governance. Through hard work, deft decision-making, and intense political will, the President has laid down the foundations of justice and inclusive growth. Through it all, he continues to clean house, eliminate waste, and put primacy on restoring public trust in our institutions,” he added.

 On establishing lasting peace, Lacierda said, the President led the “all out justice” stand to attain enduring peace in Mindanao through the signing of the Framework Agreement between the government and the MILF and by instituting reforms in the Judiciary beginning with the appointment of new Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

 Lacierda added that the signing into law of the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances Act, the first of its kind in Asia, which criminalizes the unlawful arrest of civilians and ensures the preservation and protection of every Filipino’s civil liberties, clearly demonstrates the President’s commitment to human rights.

 “Through these reforms, we are strengthening a system where the law serves the people and works towards their full development. Without doubt, we are moving towards a society where fairness reigns—fueled by a people empowered by its government,” Lacierda said.

 On boosting investments in human and infrastructure capital, Lacierda pointed out President Aquino’s directive to spend more towards education, health, and poverty alleviation.

 “Agencies such as the Department of Health, the Department of Education, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (which spearheads the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program,) have all experienced sharp increases in their budget, proving the President’s resolve to lift our countrymen from the margins of society,” Lacierda said.

 On strengthening the economy, Lacierda noted the Philippines' strong growth and stable inflation despite the uncertainties of the global economy. This was marked by the Philippine GDP growth for the 3rd quarter in 2012 of a two-year high of 7.1 percent—the highest in Southeast Asia, and among the top performing economies in Asia.

 He said that the “the Philippine Stock Exchange index this year broke record high after record high, soaring above expectations and breaching the 5, 800 mark.”

 These positive indicators, he said, are all the results of President Aquino’s fiscal discipline, reforms to ramp up quality public spending, and heavy invested in both social and physical infrastructure.”

 “This is manifested in the 2.006-trillion peso General Appropriations Act for 2013, 10.5 percent higher than the 2012 budget. The 2013 GAA continues the Aquino administration’s tradition of an on-time passage of the budget-eliminating leak-prone reenactments and showing the determination of government to ensure that every peso of the budget is spent wisely,” Lacierda said.

 “Not only is the President enjoying the highest sustained public approval ratings in history—he is also being recognized by the international community as a true leader in foreign affairs. The Philippines has taken the lead in upholding a peaceful, multilateral, and consensus-driven diplomatic approach as regards territorial disputes. In this regard, President Aquino has stood his ground thus gaining the admiration of his fellow leaders in the global arena,” he added.

 Lacierda stressed that 2012 has been the “best year” for the Philippines and sees 2013 as another banner year with “more reason for Filipinos to travel on the straight path under the leadership of President Aquino and the adherents to his noble cause.”

 “While these past two and half years have been a period of continued renewal for the country, 2012 in particular has been a year of rebuilding and restoration. This year we saw the full effect of political will used correctly and for the right purposes, knowing that power is merely lent by the people to their leaders to ultimately serve the country’s best interests. By all indicators, this was the best year for the Philippines in a long time, a time for celebration and pride for the reclaimed standing of our country as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other rising nations of the world,” Lacierda said.

 “In 2012, we turned the corner, fixed the damage wrought by the crooked ways of the past, and established further that the straight path is the only way forward. Despite the tragedies that have visited the country in 2012—from natural disasters to the untimely demise of a beloved reformist—the Filipino people have shown that their spirit cannot be broken. As the administration embarks on 2013, there is all the more reason for Filipinos to travel on the straight path under the leadership of President Aquino and the adherents to his noble cause,” he concluded. PND (rck)

Aquino government appeals to all Filipinos to refrain from using firecrackers, pyrotechnics to prevent injuries and loss of lives

The Aquino administration has appealed to the public to refrain from using dangerous firecrackers and pyrotechnics to prevent injuries and loss of lives during the New Year celebration, a Palace official said.

 Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the appeal during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday following the report of the Department of Health (DOH) that there were already victims of firecrackers even before the New Year's revelry.

 From December 21-26 this year, there were a total of 71 fireworks-related injuries and one stray bullet case. However, the DOH stressed that the number of cases is 33% lower compared to the same period last year.

 According to the DOH, there were no deaths reported. Last year for the same period, there were 108 fireworks-related injuries: 99 from fireworks, 8 from stray bullets, and 1 from firecracker ingestion.

 "If I remember, ang sabi ng Pangulo (Benigno S. Aquino III) noon, kung sana imbes na magpaputok manood na lang tayo, mag-gather tayo sa common areas to watch fireworks. Marami pong fireworks on display this coming New Year so ‘yun po ang gawin sana natin," Lacierda said.

 The Philippine National Police (PNP) is strictly enforcing the law on firecrackers and pyrotechnics, Lacierda said

 "At kung gagamit ng paputok, sana ‘yung mga recommended (safe products) lang—may sinabi ang PNP. But the PNP on its own is also going on a campaign against the more fatal and more powerful firecrackers which do inflict damage on the citizens," he said.

 Lacierda stressed that the government continues to step up its campaign against dangerous firecrackers and pyrotechnics for the safety of the public.

 The campaign also aims to avoid or minimize the adverse effects of firecrackers to the environment.

 "We would certainly encourage the citizens to refrain from using the more dangerous firecrackers. It would be to your loss. It would really mean a loss of a limb, a loss of an arm, and even your life. So ang ating pakiusap sa ating mga mamamayan ay magdahan-dahan sa paggamit po ng mga paputok," he said. PND (js)

President Aquino declares January 16 as special non-working day in Navotas in celebration of its 107th Foundation Day
 President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared January 16, 2013, which falls on a Wednesday, as a special (non-working) day in the city of Navotas in celebration of its 107th Foundation Day.

 The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 526 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on December 13 to give the people of the city of Navotas the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

 On January 16, 1906, Navotas became an independent municipality with the enactment of Philippine Commission Act. No. 1442 which separated Navotas from Malabon. PND (js)