Aquino government lauds passage of Responsible Parenthood Bill
The Aquino administration lauded the legislators for the passage of the Responsible Parenthood Bill, paving the way for the Filipinos to raise their respective families in a manner that is just and empowered, a Palace official said.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the statement following the passage of the Responsible Parenthood Bill on 3rd reading at the Senate and the House of Representatives on Monday night.
"The passage of the Responsible Parenthood Bill signals not only a new chapter in our agenda of inclusive growth; it also begins a process of healing for the wounds that may have been opened by an often feisty democracy," Lacierda said.
The Aquino administration expressed confidence that positive and meaningful engagement among the different branches of government will continue, Lacierda said.
Lacierda said the administration thanked the legislatures who made a historic vote on Monday and successfully passed the Responsible Parenthood Bill.
"We are particularly grateful to Speaker Sonny Belmonte; Majority Floor Leader Boyet Gonzales; Congressman Edcel Lagman who authored this bill and shepherded it through for more than a decade; Senator Pia Cayetano, who waged an equally difficult battle in the Senate; and every legislator who voted for this measure," Lacierda said.
"They have made it even clearer ---that the people now have the government on their side as they raise their families in a manner that is just and empowered," he said.
"As President Aquino asked, our representatives voted according to conscience. Discussions regarding this bill were heated and did not lack for passionate advocates from either side," Lacierda noted.
Lacierda stressed that the legislators fulfilled their duties with honor when they crafted a law that can truly address the needs of the people. PND (js)
President Aquino formally installs Purisima as chief of the Philippine National Police
President Benigno S. Aquino III formally installed Police Deputy Director General Alan Purisima as acting chief of the Philippine National Police during the Change of Command ceremonies held at the multi-purpose hall of Camp Crame, Quezon City on Tuesday.
Purisima, who served as a member of the Presidential Security Group protecting former President Corazon Aquino, replaces Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome who, after serving as Chief PNP for over a year, opted to retire today.
In his speech, President Aquino lauded Bartolome for his honest and dependable service which has strengthened the dignity of the police force and, as well as safety and peace of mind to the Filipino people.
“Nagpupugay tayo kay Director General Nicanor Bartolome; na sa loob ng mahigit isang taon ng pagiging mahusay na timon ng Philippine National Police, ay nanguna sa tapat at maaasahang serbisyo,” the President said.
“Tinanggap niya ang hamong itindig ang dangal ng ating kapulisan na tanging puso at hindi luho ang pinapairal; kapuwa, at hindi sarili ang pinagsisilbihan; katuwiran, at hindi transaksyonalismo ang pinapanigan,” he added.
The President also thanked Bartolome for his selfless act of retiring early in order to give Purisima a free hand to prepare for next year’s elections.
“Batid po ni Nic (Bartolome) ang kahalagahan ng maigting na pagpaplano, at pagsasakatuparan ng ating mabuting adhikain para sa mas nakakarami. Napaaga nga po ang kanyang pagbaba sa puwesto upang magbigay daan sa bagong lideratong nakatakdang magbantay sa darating na halalan. Kaakibat po nito ang sapat na panahon upang ihanda ang kapulisan para sa malinis at mapayapang eleksyon. Para kay Nic: Maraming salamat sa pagmamalasakit at pagkukusang pagsilbihan ang atin pong bayan. Mabuhay ka, Nic,” the President said.
The President expressed his utmost trust and confidence to Purisima, saying the new Chief PNP would always side with what is right and good and bring honor and prestige to the police force.
“Kaya naman mataas ang kompiyansa kong papanig lamang siya sa tama, at pihadong makapagdudulot siya ng katangi-tanging pagbabago sa hanay ng kapulisan kumpara sa sistemang amin pong minana. Dahil nga po sa kaniyang pambihirang inisyatiba’t paglilingkod—mula sa pagpapanday ng matibay na ugnayan ng pulisya at ng komunidad, hanggang sa paghihikayat sa pakikilahok ng pamayanan sa pagsugpo ng kriminalidad—kaliwa’t kanan po ang pagkilala’t parangal na kanya pong nakamit sa loob at labas ng bansa,” the President said.
He told Purisima that the first test of his leadership was to show to the people his dedication to the service by working towards further uplifting the image of the force.
“Ito nga marahil ang unang hamon sa inyong bagong liderato: Umaasa ang taumbayan na maitataguyod natin ang kaayusan mula sa kasagsagan ng kampanya hanggang maidaos ang halalan. Ito ang layunin ng Secure and Fair Elections o SAFE 2013 na pinamumunuan mismo ni Deputy Director General Purisima,” the President said.
“Batid nating sa pamamagitan lamang ng malayang pagboto, malalaman ang totoong pasya ng sambayanan: Itutuloy ba natin ang pagtahak sa tuwid na daan, o susugal tayo sa mga umaambang ibalik tayo sa baluktot na sistema?” he added. PND (rck)
President Aquino appeals to all members of police force to do their part in improving image of Philippine National Police
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on all the members of the police force to band together and do their part in improving the image of the Philippine National Police in order to remove the doubts and speculations clouding the integrity of the country’s premiere police force as a true and dependable protector of the people.
The President issued the call during the Change of Command ceremony he spearheaded which formally installed Police Deputy Director General as acting chief of the PNP in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Tuesday.
“Kung nais nating mabura ang anino ng agam-agam at pagdududa ng publiko sa kapulisan, kailangang mag-ambag ang bawat pulis para umusbong ang kultura ng dangal at kabayanihan sa inyong hanay,” the President said.
“Kailangan ninyong maipabatid na kaligtasan nila ang itinataguyod ninyo; kailangang makaramdam ng kapanatagan, at hindi takot, ang publiko sa tuwing nakikita kayo,” he added noting that the PNP’s “Pulis N’yo Po sa Barangay,” a police-visibility program where 31,600 policemen have already been deployed to 4,000 barangays nationwide since November, is a positive step towards this goal.
He pointed out, however, the need to rid their ranks of rogue cops who taint the sterling image of the police force with their nefarious dealings, saying that they will be dealt with the fullest extent of the law.
He warned that the days of their misdeeds is drawing near.
“Mulat tayong sa kabila ng mga reporma, may mga kabaro pa rin kayong nagbabahid ng mantsa sa inyong ahensya. Hindi po tayo makakapayag na ang mga inaasahang maglingkod sa bayan, ay sila pang pasimuno ng katiwalian,” the President said.
“Sa tuwid na landas, bawal ang mga parak na nagsisiga-sigaan; bawal ang mga unipormadong pulis na nagmamaneho nang walang helmet o lisensya pa; bawal ang mga utak 'wang-wang' na sagabal sa isinusulong nating reporma. Kung pulis kang tumatanggap ng suhol upang ipagkanulo ang kalikasan; kung pulis kang nagbubulag-bulagan sa ilegal na pagtotroso; kung pulis kang humihithit ng droga, o nagbebenta pa, o sangkot sa pagnanakaw at pangongotong, bilang na ang mga araw ninyo,” he added.
“Malinaw ang atas ko, at hindi optional ang pagsunod sa batas. Oras na mag-krus ang landas natin, hindi lang n’yo isu-surrender ang inyong tsapa’t uniporme. Papalitan pa natin iyan ng t-shirt na kulay orange at may malaking letrang 'P' sa likuran,” the President said. PND (rck)
Aquino appeals for more assistance to typhoon victims
President Benigno S. Aquino III appealed to the Filipino citizenry to extend their hands in helping the Mindanao residents affected by Typhoon "Pablo" that hit the region this month.
“Nanawagan pa rin po ako sa sambayanang Pilipino: sa panahon ng pighati at pagdurusa, kailangang iparamdam natin sa ating mga kababayan doon ang pagmamalasakit at pagkalinga,” the President said during his speech at the Bulong Pulungan Christmas Party held at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on Tuesday.
“Sa kabila ng pagkasawi, hinihiling sa ating magbuklod at makiisa sa mga nawalan ng pag-asa; inaasahan tayong tumulong sa tunay na nangangailangan,” he said.
As the Christmas approaches, he also asked the filipino people to pray for those who are affected, so that they could bounce back and restart their lives normally.
The President said the Bulong Pulungan Christmas Party is a testament of unity in the country, and the will of the people to assist those who are in need as he thanked media organizations that raise money for the typhoon victims.
Despite the differences in views and positions, the President said, the government respects the press. He also reminded media practitioners that like those in government, the members of the press are also serving their real bosses—the Filipino people.
“Lagi lang sana nating tandaan ang inyong tungkulin sa lipunan ---ang makapaghatid ng makabuluhang balita at tumpak na impormasyon sa sambayanan. Magkakaiba man ang mga pinanggalingang pahayagan o larangan, alam kong nasa iisang pahina lang ang ating adhikain ---ang makapagsilbi sa ating mga 'Boss' —ang taumbayan,” he said.
Despite the magnitude of the disaster, the President said, he sees the recent devastation as a challenge that the country must overcome noting that he’s more determined to make the people safer against natural calamities.
For instance, he said, the government now has a more enhanced weather monitoring system, timely asset repositioning, and a more improved relief and rescue operations.
In this connection, the President also vowed to energize the devastated areas before New Year.
As a response to the disaster, concerned government agencies are currently working hard to repair damaged infrastructures, provide relief assistance and restore electricity in disaster areas.
The public works and highways department already cleared roads and repaired bridges so that relief goods could reach the affected communities. PND (as)
Aquino says a united Filipino people makes his job much easier
A united Filipino public makes his job as president a lot easier, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Tuesday.
“It makes my job that much easier if we are united in whatever endeavor we have to face. There are problems affecting the world where we cannot be isolated, and we, as a people, we really march forward as one, and that helps,” the President said when asked about his hopes for the season during the Bulong Pulungan Christmas Party in Pasay City.
“That’s the most personal I can get at this point in time. I want to have realistic objectives---realistic and obtainable objectives”
The President also mentioned the RH Bill debates, a divisive issue that was passed in the third reading by Congress on Monday.
Despite the heated debates on RH bill, the President said people with opposing opinions must not treat each other as enemies noting that there are no enemies within the country on those kinds of issues.
“When it becomes a law, let us move on to make it… to ensure that all the positive attributes of the bill is really what happens,” he said referring to RH Bill.
“Between Filipinos, we shouldn’t treat each other as the enemy, but, rather as people united by so many ways, among them belong to the same race, it should be addressing the concerns of those who have less in life, not just these typhoon victims but everybody else, in the various problems affecting our country and our society.”
The RH bill debate isn’t a battle that there are victors and losers, the President said adding that this is a battle where the country can benefit, especially the women and children.
“We have to work to ensure that everybody’s committed to doing that,” he said. PND (as)
Aquino to focus on improving government bonus granting system, land use issue next year
President Benigno S. Aquino III said he’ll prioritize ironing out public workers’ bonuses and land use issue next year.
“We were trying to foster what we call the performance-based bonus. In government presently, you are rated by your supervisor—you are given the marks—and since we want to be always ‘nakikisama,’ the least mark for government employees will be... the supervisor will not give a rating below 'very satisfactory.' So it’s either 'excellent' or 'very satisfactory',” he said during a forum at the Bulong Pulungan Christmas Party in Pasay City on Tuesday.,” he said during a forum at the Bulong Pulungan Christmas Party in Pasay City on Tuesday.
The President said he wants to change the culture in the bureaucracy by putting a system in which the workers will determine whether they are entitled for bonuses or not.
The Chief Executive said he believes mediocrity is being promoted to the detriment of those who are really performing a good job.
“The basic philosophy is ---it is the worker who will determine how much of a bonus he gets. There’s a limit cap. I think it’s about two and a half month’s pay. But it will not be your supervisor who determines it. You set up goals. If the goals are met or exceeded, you are entitled to the full bonus,” he explained.
Currently, there’s an ongoing study on the issue and the President said he expects it to be completed by October next year.
The government will also focus on the land use issue particularly those areas devoted to agriculture, and industrial purposes, the President said adding that these also include areas considered uninhabitable and dangerous during disasters, the President added. PND (as)
President issues Executive Order No. 120 creating Transition Commission that will draft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law
President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued an executive order creating a Transition Commission (TC) that will draft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law in accordance to the Framework Agreement signed by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last October 15.
The Chief Executive signed Executive Order No. 120 (series. 2012) on December 17 to provide a mechanism for authentic democratic collaboration in the crafting of a proposed law where the affected people themselves are actively involved, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said in a statement.
The Executive Order “affirms the President’s resolve to move forward the peace process for the Bangsamoro as a strategic initiative for political stability and economic development.”
"The Preamble of the 1987 Philippine Constitution articulates the aspiration of the sovereign Filipino people to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace," the Chief Executive said.
President Aquino said the comprehensive peace process agenda in Mindanao is an indispensable component to achieve real and inclusive regional and national development goals.
The Government entered into the 2012 Framework Agreement that is envisioned to pave the way for the peaceful resolution of the armed struggle in Mindanao, the Chief Executive said.
He said the government acknowledges its commitment to exert all efforts towards realizing the full implementation of the Framework Agreement.
As stipulated in the historic Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Government and the MILF, a Transition Commission will be constituted for the purpose of crafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law—the instrument that will establish the new autonomous entity.
The Executive Order creates a 15-member Transition Commission that will be appointed by the President. The Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front shall come up with a list of candidates from among the Bangsamoro and other residents in the prospective core area of the new political entity.
Under the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, specifically Article 7, Section 5, the Transition Commission shall be “composed of fifteen (15) members all of whom are Bangsamoro. Seven (7) members shall be selected by the Government and eight (8) members, including the Chairman, shall be selected by the MILF.”
The Executive Order also provided that the Transition Commission may put up an office and coordinate with other government agencies and Congress to get its work done. It has an initial budget allocation of P100 million.
According to the Executive Order, the Transition Commission may also recommend to Congress and the people, when necessary, proposed amendments to the Constitution.
The Transition Commission shall also assist in identifying development programs together with the Bangsamoro Development Authority and the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute—two institutions affiliated with the MILF.
The Transition Commission can begin its work even as Government and the MILF negotiating panels are still finalizing the four annexes that will complete the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, Deles added.
The commission may directly coordinate with legislative bodies in order to accomplish its functions under the Executive Order. It shall cease to operate upon the enactment by Congress of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Consistent with existing laws, rules and regulations, the President said all national government agencies, including government-owned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions may be called upon to support the Commission in the performance of its functions.
The commission shall ensure transparency, inclusivity and utmost professionalism in the performance of its mandate, and shall provide for appropriate and effective mechanisms for consultations with all stakeholders, as may be warranted.
The Transition Commission shall organize its Secretariat to be headed by an Executive Director as may be designated by the Chair. The Secretariat shall provide administrative and technical support to the Commission. The Commission and its Secretariat shall hold office in such venue as the Commission may deem appropriate.
The commission is authorized to create technical committees and designate members, and may engage the assistance of experts and professional advisors, subject to government rules and regulations. PND (js)