Thursday, 6 December 2012

PIA news Dispatch - Thursday, December 6, 2012

President Aquino leads Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas

President Benigno S. Aquino III led Wednesday the 2012 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas at Malacanang and exhorted the awardees to work together in helping rebuild the areas devastated by Typhoon Pablo.

“I am seeing a greater spirit of cooperation among our fellow citizens… and I am confident that those of you who have always been giving generously in the past will take the time to lend a helping hand where it is needed,” the President said in his message during the event.

At this time of rebuilding for our people, let us work together in the spirit of bayanihan—the spirit that has always pushed our country past any adversity and towards a better tomorrow,” he said.

He also encouraged Filipinos to continue aiming for greatness as well as to continue strengthening their roots, which is the country’s collective identity and shared pride.

The Philippines, as a newly revitalized nation, is showing greatness in any field, the President said.

“In this new chapter of our history, Filipinos everywhere in the world are increasingly finding ways of working together in this constant quest for excellence, so that we may fulfill the collective aspirations of our people sooner rather than later,” he said.

The President’s 16-point Social Contract with the Filipino people highlights his administration international migration policy aimed at improving the Philippine economic condition so that Filipinos do not have to leave and find work abroad.

In this policy, working abroad must be a choice rather than a necessity and while the government works in this goal, the administration’s top priority is to ensure the welfare and protection of Filipinos working abroad.

In 1991, President Aquino’s late mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino, signed Executive Order No. 498 establishing the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas.

The honor is a biennial award with the following categories: Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino, Banaag and Pamanang Pilipino. There is also another category called Kaanib ng Bayan which is bestowed on foreign individuals or organizations for their exceptional philanthropic works in the Philippines or in Filipino communities abroad.

These awards are conferred on outstanding overseas Filipino, individuals or organizations, who contributed to the country’s development and promoted the interests of overseas Filipinos.

This year’s Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino awardees were Dr. Manuel Cacdac (US), Dr. Christopher Guerrero (US) and Aguman Kapampangan UK (UK). Two individuals were given the Kaanib ng Bayan award, they are Dr. Gnon Haba (Israel) and Dr. Christian Loehlein (Germany).

The recipients of the Banaag Award were Engr. Carlito Alpay (Saudi Arabia), Lawyer Imelda Argel (Australia), Tomas Avendano Sr. (Canada), Rafael Castanos (US), Filipiniana-Europa VZW, Filipino Community of Seattle (US), Filipino Digerati Association (United Arab Emirates), Luzviminda Micabalo (US), Al Perez Jr. (US), Lt. Eric Michael Quema (US), Robert Santos (UAS), Stichting Bayanihan (The Netherlands), and Ma. Luzviminda Tsai (Taiwan).

Receiving the Pamana ng Pilipino award were Engr. Mary Jane Al-Mahdi (United Arab Emirates), Dr. Delia Amaya (Brazil), Dr. Samuel Bernal (Czech Republic), Dr. Antonio Fernando III (New Zealand), Almira Astudillo Gilles (US), Dianne Monique Lhuillier (US), Allan Pineda (US), Dr. Ruth Elynia Mabanglo (US), Jorge Ortoll (US), Eric Spoelstra (US) and Dr. Francisca Tolete-Velcek (US).

Among those who joined the President during the awarding rites were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Commission on Filipino Overseas Secretary Imelda Nicolas. PND (as)

President Aquino declares December 8 as special non-working day in Batangas in celebration of its Foundation Day

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared December 8, which falls on a Saturday, as a special (non-working) day in the province of Batangas in celebration of its Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration by virtue of Proclamation No. 504 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Nov. 15 to give the people of Batangas the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

The province was founded in 1581 but there was no exact date stating when it officially became a province. The provincial government, through Ordinance No. 001 in 2008, has chosen December 8, 1581 as the foundation date of Batangas. PND (js)

Philippine team shines during skills tilt in Jakarta

Participating team from the Philippines to the 9th ASEAN Skills Competition (ASC) bagged four medals from the Asia-wide skills competition held in Indonesia, the Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said.

In his report to President Benigno S. Aquino III, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said the Philippine team brought home four medals, one bronze and three Medallions of Excellence. The Medallion of Excellence is given to competitors who have exceeded the standards set for a specific trade area. These standards are internationally benchmarked.

The Filipino participants called Team Manggagawang Pilipino, is composed of 16 skilled technical-vocational students who showed off their proficiency in 10 skills and trade areas including information network administration, electronics, web design, hair-dressing, caring, fashion technology, megatronics, refrigeration and air conditioning, industrial automation and beauty therapy.

TESDA has revived this year the skills competition at the local, regional and national levels to select Philippine representatives to the 9th ASEAN Skills Competition held in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 11 to 20, 2012, Villanueva told President Aquino.

It is the first time in seven years that the Philippines sent representatives to the biennial skills competition.

The learning and experiences from the 9th Asean Skills Competition will serve as a basis for furthering skills excellence in the country, Villanueva said. PND (as)

President Aquino calls on the youth to join government in nation building

President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the youth to join government efforts in nation building saying their time, knowledge and talent hold the key to solving the nation’s problems.

The President issued the call during awarding ceremonies of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) held in MalacaƱang on Thursday.

“Ang pangarap po natin, at talagang nakatutok tayo sa pagkamit ---ang ilayo sa bitag ng gutom at kahirapan si Juan dela Cruz at ilapit siya sa katuparan ng kaniyang mga pangarap,” the President said.

“Tiwala akong magagawa natin ito, lalo pa’t nag-uumapaw ang ating bayan sa mga kabataang handang mag-ambag ng oras, talino at talento upang masolusyonan ang mga pambansang suliranin,” he added.

He pointed out that there is more to the youth despite the common misconception that they would rather spend time on frivolous activities such as playing computer games, going to the mall and hanging out with their friends or “gimmicks.”

“Pero malinaw din na ang mga bagay na mahalaga – malasakit sa kapwa, paglingap sa mga nangangailangan, pagkukusang tumulong sa ikabubuti ng bansa – ay nakatanim pa rin sa puso ng kabataang Pilipino,” the President said.

“Ito ang diwa ng pagtitipon natin ngayong umaga. Pinapatunayan ng Ten Accomplished Youth Orgranizations ngayong taon na handang makipag-bayanihan ang kabataan sa tuwid na daan. Ibinabandila ng mga ginagawaran nating organisasyon na anuman ang edad, kasarian o katayuan natin sa buhay, basta’t sama-sama tayong gumagawa ng tama, makakapagdulot tayo ng ginhawa sa kapwa at bansa,” he stressed.

The Ten Outstanding Youth Organizations (TAYO Awards) is an annual search and recognition program for outstanding groups of young Filipinos that contribute to the development of the country through humanitarian projects in their respective schools and communities.

It is a project of the TAYO Awards Foundation and spearheaded by the National Youth Commission (NYC) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

TAYO is organized by the TAYO Awards Foundation headed by its current president Paolo Benigno "Bam"A. Aquino IV, the National Youth Commission, and the Office of Senator Francis Pangilinan. It is presented by Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. with the support of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, SM Supermalls and SM Cares Foundation, and the Philippine Council for Young Leaders in Governance.

This year’s TAYO awardees are: Ang Kabataan of Rizal, Kalipunan and Marketing Junior Executives of the University of the Cordilleras (Benguet), University of Luzon Students in Free Enterprise (Pangasinan), Ramon Magsaysay Technological University-Electrical Engineering Society (Zambales);

Cebuano Youth Ambassadors (Cebu City), Dire Husi Initiatives, Incorporated (Cagayan de Oro City), I CAN Make a Difference, Inc. (Zamboanga City), Monteverde 4-H Club (Zamboanga City), One Million Lights Philippines and the La Salle Debate Society. PND (rck)

TESDA expects to harmonize education and training through innovative program

The full implementation of the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) will harmonize education and training qualifications in the country to ensure that standards become consistent with employers’ job requirements, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the PQF is now being formulated, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva told President Benigno S. Aquino III in a report this week. The PQF National Coordinating Council (NCC) will deliberate for the approval of the IRR on December 14, 2012, Villanueva said.

Villanueva noted that the new and innovative skills programs will make technical education and skills development more relevant and responsive to the country’s development needs.

He commended the President for signing Executive Order No. 83, which institutionalizes the Philippine Qualifications Framework. The EO has accelerated the work being done on the PQF by an inter-agency group composed of the Department of Education (DepED), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and TESDA.

“We are currently reviewing our policies, standards, guidelines, and training regulations to align with the PQF descriptors, as well as the K to12 curriculum,” Villanueva told the President in his report.

He also said that for the first time in the history of TESDA, the Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD) Congress was held on August 29, 2012. More than 1,000 individuals representing the TESD sector nationwide participated in the event.

They discussed and crafted recommendations on critical issues and concerns in TESD such as the requirements for the 21st century skilled workforce, K to 12 Basic Education Reform Program, Philippine Qualifications Framework, green skills, among others.

“These are in line with the thrust of the President to link technical education and skills development to the requirements of the labor market, thus lessening the problem of job-skills mismatch,” he said.

Individuals also have greater access to training through the TESDA Online Program, Villanueva reported.

He said that few months after the launching of the TESDA Online Program, the number of registered users and page views more than doubled from its first month of operation reaching 49,118 registered users and 1,789,413 page views as of December 3, 2012.

Overseas registered users have also increased and now reaching 3,905, he said.

Aside from this initiative, TESDA has launched more Mobile Training Plus (Park and Train) units to bring technical-vocational programs at the doorstep of every community. The Mobile Training Plus is equipped with necessary tools and equipment as well as with a certified trainer, in accordance with the requirements of TESDA’s training regulations, according to Villanueva.

TESDA is also an active partner in the government’s zero backlog in armchairs through the P-Noy Bayanihan (School Armchair / Furniture Production) Project.

After closing the gap in armchair requirements in Agusan del Sur, Caraga, the P-Noy Bayanihan project has a new production site in the National Capital Region located at the TESDA compound in Taguig City.

The P-NOY Bayanihan is a convergence initiative for education and livelihood among TESDA, DENR, PAGCOR, and DepEd. PND (as)

President Aquino says education to improve with P292.7- billion budget

President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday that the P292.7-billion budget set aside for the Department of Education from the 2013 General Appropriations Act would be used to improve the delivery of education to Filipino students through the building and rehabilitation of more classrooms, purchasing more books, and ensuring that the teachers’ salaries are paid on time.

In his speech keynoting the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) awarding ceremony in MalacaƱang on Thursday, the President said that after a long time, the government is now in a better position to act on the clamor of the public for better education for our children.

“ Sa tuwid na daan, namumuhunan tayo sa dekalidad na edukasyon para sa ating kabataan, kaya naman ibinubuhos natin sa DepEd ang pinakamalaking bahagi ng budget para sa 2013,” the President said.

“Naglaan tayo ng 292.7 bilyong pisong pondo para sa edukasyon, upang ang minana nating 66,800 na backlog sa classrooms at ang katakut-takot na kakulangan sa mga gamit pampaaralan ay matugunan na,” he added.

The President noted that he ensured the strict implementation of this budget for its concerned purpose down to the last centavo.

“Ang bawat sentimo ng pondong ito ay nakatutok sa pagpapatayo ng mga bagong silid-aralan, sa pagpapaayos ng mga sira-sirang mga gusali, sa kasanayan ng mga guro at pagdagdag ng mga guro, gayundin sa pagbili ng mas maraming libro, upuan, at mesa ng mga mag-aaral,” the President said. PND (rck)

TESDA widens Private-Public Partnership thrust

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has been aggressively pursuing Private-Public Partnership (PPP) for the benefit of the Filipino workers as well as employers needing a highly skilled workforce.

In his report to President Benigno S. Aquino III this week, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said one of the entities that TESDA is working with is the Central Luzon-based Freeport Zones.

“TESDA sealed partnership agreements with the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Subic Bay Metropolitan Administration (SBMA) and the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) to ensure the availability of a pool of trained and highly skilled manpower in the area,” Villanueva said in his report to the President.

The tie up is one of the biggest initiatives among industry partners, that included separate agreements with 90 companies operating in the Freeport zones and 40 technical-vocational institutions for the sharing and updating of labor market information, upgrading and re-tooling of workers, and the delivery of the dual training system (DTS).

The DTS is a teaching modality that combines theoretical and practical training in two venues – the school and the companies. TESDA is expanding its stake on businesses in the country’s growth corridors such as the Freeport zones that can easily absorb technical-vocational graduates for employment.

TESDA also has tie ups with the Middle East Industrial Training Institute (MEITI) to provide Filipino workers with the chance to achieve American Welding Society Standard (AWS) certification in Metals and Engineering, especially Welding.

Along with a TESDA certificate, AWS certification will boost prospects for employment abroad among OFWs, Villanueva explained.

Under the partnership, MEITI will provide the training materials and equipment worth P20 million, provide scholarships to selected trainees, assist in the placement and job deployment of the graduates and help the Regional Training Center (RTC)-Davao to be an accredited AWS training and assessment center.

TESDA, through RTC-Davao, will provide the training infrastructure and manage the training program under this partnership.

TESDA also works with the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippine (FEJODAP) and Petron Foundation Inc.

Under project Tsuper Dunong, TESDA, FEJODAP and Petron will provide training opportunities, initially to 200 FEJODAP members and their dependents in NCR to give them a chance to hone their driving skills and learn new and related skills such as automotive servicing and diesel engine mechanics.

TESDA also recently signed a memorandum of agreement with World Vision for the training of poor but deserving scholars to become skilled mechanics and become employable. The training will be conducted in the Auto Mechanic Training Center built by Isuzu Motors in Tacloban, Leyte.

World Vision is spending P7.5 million for the project that started in October and will run until March 2013. TESDA will oversee the implementation of the training.

In partnership with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Informatics, TESDA trained inmates of the New Bilibid Prison and the Correctional Institute for Women.

TESDA’s program is aimed at boosting the prisoners’ employability after serving their jail sentences. TESDA inked another partnership agreement with Informatics for the provision of training opportunities to 300 inmates of various jails in Metro Manila.

The program, dubbed Bilib I.T. Program, is an initial training program for inmates in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Metro Manila District Jail, Quezon City Jail Annex, Taguig Jail (for male and female), and the Manila City Jail Annex.

It consists of computer-related courses such as IT Essentials, computer hardware servicing, Adobe Photoshop, web design and English proficiency, and a finishing course for call center agents. PND (as)

President Aquino leads commemoration of the 26th Founding Anniversary of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor in Malacanang

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the commemoration of the 26th Founding Anniversary of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), which coincides with the 24th Urban Poor Solidarity Week during ceremonies held in Malacanang on Thursday.

The Chief Executive attended the event as PCUP's guest of honor and speaker at the the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang Palace.
This year's PCUP event has for its theme ---Isyu at Suliranin, Bibigyang Tugon; sa Maralitang Taga-Lungsod ang Paglilingkod Itutuon.

President Aquino conferred the Posthumus Award on the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo in recognition for his commendable assistance and unparalleled concerns for the urban poor. Robredo's sister, Dr. Josephine Robredo-Bondoc, accepted the posthumous award.

During the event, the PCUP presented to President Aquino the result of the recently concluded National Summit with all the issues and corresponding recommendations for his appropriate actions.

The result of the National Summit were culled from the City/Municipal Level Urban Poor Summits. The Regional Summits (National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) held last September, were aimed to consolidate the concerns and recommendations of the urban poor for the Chief Executive's actions.

The topics were anchored on the Ten Point Covenant of the President with the Urban Poor, namely no demolition/eviction without due process, provision of support for area upgrading and in-city resettlement, provision of basic services that benefit the urban poor communities, housing, jobs, increased cooperation with local government units, peace, post-typhoon Ondoy rehabilitation program, appointment, participation of stakeholders.

The Urban Poor representatives expressed their pledge of support to the Chief Executive.

Also in attendance were Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Public Works and Highway Rogelio Singson, PCUP chairman Hernani B. Panganiban, among others.

The late President Corazon C. Aquino created the PCUP on December 8, 1986 through Executive Order No. 82 to serve as a direct link of government with the urban poor for policy formulation and program implementation addressing their needs.

On January 30, 1989, the late President issued Proclamation No. 367 declaring December 2 to 8 of every year as Urban Poor Solidarity Week to foster unity, dialogue and cooperation among government agencies, non-government entities and urban poor communities in specific programs and projects for the alleviation of urban poverty. PND (js)

President Aquino vows to push for more poverty reduction programs to uplift the standard of living of Filipinos

President Benigno S. Aquino III vowed to push for more poverty reduction programs and opportunities to uplift the standards of living of the Filipino people, especially the poor.

In his speech during the 26th Founding Anniversary of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) which coincided with the 24th Urban Poor Solidarity Week at the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang Palace on Thursday, the Chief Executive assured that his government remains committed to fulfill its Ten Point Covenant with the urban poor.

"Alam naman po kasi natin ang halaga ng pagtitipong ito: Sa paglalatag ng mga napagtagumpayan sa nakaraang taon, sa pagtitimbang sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon, at sa pagpaplano sa darating na panahon, mas lumilinaw ang inyong direksyon at mas lumalawak ang posibilidad ng pagtugon sa mga hamon sa inyong sektor," the President said.

Government, according to the Chief Executive, with the help of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, succeeded in providing programs and policies for the urban poor.

"Sa araw din pong ito, sama-sama nating kinikilala ang ‘di-matatawarang kontribusyon ni dating DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo sa pagpapabuti ng kalagayan ng mga maralitang taga-lungsod," he said.

"Talaga pong nag-uumapaw ang pagmamalasakit niya sa inyong hanay. Ipinaglaban niya ang karapatang pantao ng mga maralitang tagalungsod. Siya ang nagbigay ng direktiba sa ating kapulisan na magkaroon ng pre-demolition conference, o 72 oras na palugid sa mahinahon at masinsinang diyalogo sa pagitan ng informal settlers at ng kinauukulan, bago ituloy ang anumang demolisyon," he added.

The President recalled that Robredo informed him of the various concerns of the urban poor sector. With the help of Robredo, the Chief Executive said, the PCUP and other concerned government agencies crafted measures to help uplift the standard of living of the urban poor.

"Upang tugunan ito, tuloy-tuloy pa rin po ang ating Resettlement Program, gamit ang 10.55-billion pesos na pondo sa ilalim ng Disbursement Accelerated Program 2011. Nitong Nobyembre, nasa 4,890 off-city housing units na ang nakumpleto natin sa Metro Manila at nagsisilbi nang kanlungan sa mahigit apat na libong pamilya," he stressed.

"Isang good news pa po: Nitong Agosto, nai-award na ang 169.4-million pesos na kontrata para sa Iloilo Resettlement Project, kung saan isang libong housing units ang ating maipatatayo sa 5.6 na ektarya ng lupain sa Jaro, Iloilo. Target po itong makumpleto sa Hulyo ng 2013," the President noted.

The government was able to provide new houses to several urban poor famines living in danger areas.

"Mula po Hulyo ng 2010 hanggang Nobyembre ng 2012, umabot na rin sa 48,358 housing units ang naipatayo po sa iba’t ibang housing programs ng Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council; libo-libong pamilya na po ang nailalayo natin sa mga peligrosong lugar at naisalba sa pinsalang hatid ng mga nagdaang kalamidad," he said

The President expressed satisfaction over the achievements of the PCUP, the urban poor organizations and other stakeholders in alleviating poverty.

"Ayon nga po sa inyong tala, umabot na sa halos 4,800 urban poor organizations ang nakikiisa sa inyong programa. Kinakatawan ito ng mahigit dalawandaang libong urban poor families sa buong Pilipinas. Ibig pong sabihin, sa mga pagpupulong na ito, daang-libo ring maralitang taga-lungsod ang nabibigyang-kaalaman at tinig sa mga usaping tulad ng asset reform, ebiksiyon at demolisiyon, at mga programang pangkabuhayan at pangkaunlaran ng ating gobyerno," he said.

With the cooperation of the people, the President assured that the government would be able to achieve its goals to give the poor a better life.

"Si Secretary Jesse Robredo na po mismo ang nagsabi, “For this country to succeed, we need to make heroes of the ordinary people. We need to make heroes of ourselves.” Sama-sama po nating patunayan ang natatanging husay, pagmamalasakit, at angking kabayanihan ng mga karaniwang mamamayan. Kasama ang buong puwersa ng mga maralitang taga-lungsod, ipamalas natin ang lakas at bisa ng bayanihan sa pagtaguyod," the President said.

The President also expressed trust and confidence in Robredo's successor, DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas II. "Bilang bagong tagapagtimon ng mga lokal na pamahalaan, buo ang tiwala natin sa kakayahan at determinasyon ni Secretary Roxas na ihakbang pasulong ang DILG, kasama na ang mga sektor ng mga maralitang taga-lungsod," he concluded. PND (js)