Tuesday, 4 December 2012

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, November 27, 2012

President Aquino cites Lifestyle Editor Thelma San Juan for her staunch dedication to principles of journalism
 President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the need for more writers like Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) Lifestyle Editor Thelma San Juan who gives her readers factual reporting of the private lives of prominent personalities at a time when politicians are treated as commodities rather than initiators of change.

 In his speech during the launching of San Juan's lifestyle book entitled "I'm Afraid of Heights (Or Why I Can't Social Climb)" held at the Rockwell Tent, Plaza Garden, Plaza Drive of the Rockwell Center, in Makati City on Monday, the Chief Executive lauded the lifestyle editor for her staunch dedication to the principles of journalism.

 "At a time when politicians are treated as commodities rather than initiators of change, Thelma brings us back to the substance of the people she covers," the President said.

 San Juan's book was launched with President Aquino as guest of honor and speaker.

 The book is a compilation of the intimate profiles of 98 celebrities published in the last 20 years. It showcases her interviews with prominent national and foreign figures, including President Aquino, John F. Kennedy, Jr., French-Spanish fashion designer Paloma Picasso, fashion designer and film director Tom Ford, business icons Eugenio "Geny" Lopez and Jaime Zobel, presidential sister and actress-television host Kris Aquino, among others.

 "In fact, in the early pages of this book, you will find a quote from me—talking about my younger sister Kris, who was just about to enter showbiz," the President said.

 "That article was written in 1987, and it really brought me back. It also made me realize just how much this country has changed over the course of Thelma’s extensive career. This includes perhaps the biggest change of all—when, more than two years ago, our people’s clamor for change was manifested in the Presidential elections," he stressed.

 "They voted for an idea that would inject reform and optimism back into our country: Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap," he said.

 San Juan wrote an article about then presidential aspirant Aquino's moment during the last night of his campaign in 2010. "Even then, Thelma was there to chronicle the moment. And upon the overwhelming enthusiasm of our people to change the country, she turned to me and said, “Magiging presidente ka," the President recalled.

 "I thoroughly enjoyed the piece she wrote about that moment, and I am grateful that it’s the first profile on this book," he said.

 The President, however, noted that there are also quite a number of other profiles in San Juan's book that serve as living snapshots of the people who have shaped our country’s story.

 "Truly, there is a way of entertaining your readers without sacrificing depth or accuracy, and throughout her career, Thelma has kept that balance," he said.

 "Through Thelma, the reader has a chance to understand how someone tries to make a difference. In other words, Thelma does justice to her subjects. By doing so, Thelma and her breed allow the Filipino people to know who these people truly are. They fulfill our human need to genuinely connect with one another," the President said.

 During the event, the President received the first copy of San Juan's book.

 Also in attendance were Senator Loren Legarda; Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras; Presidential Management Staff chief Secretary Julia Abad; Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma, Jr.; Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda; Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon Carandang; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chile to the Philippines Roberto Mayorga Lorca; Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez, former First Lady Amelita “Ming” Ramos, Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara; National Artist Ben Cabrera; PDI chair Marixi Rufino-Prieto; PDI president Sandy Prieto-Romualdez; PDI editor-in-chief, Letty Jimenez Magsanoc, and Socorro Ramos; among others. PND (js)

President Aquino cites contributions of medical technologists in making clinical laboratory sciences more efficient and productive
 President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the contributions of the country’s medical technologists in making clinical laboratory sciences more efficient and productive.

 "The field of science and technology remains crucial to human progress, as innovations bring our societies towards healthy and efficient ways to carry out our tasks," the Chief Executive said in his message to the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists (PAMET) on the occasion of its 48th Annual Convention on Tuesday.

 The PAMET is holding its 14th ASEAN Conference of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in conjunction with the 48th Annual Convention.

 The event, which has for its theme "Strengthening ASEAN Cooperation for a Greener Laboratory Environment” opened on Tuesday at the Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila. The conference will end on November 30, 2012.

 "This conference is a vital opportunity for your constituents to share insights into your specialization and increase your profession’s capacity in behalf of public welfare in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia," the President said.

 "As you sustain your solidarity as a scientific community, you bolster your contributions to our shared aspirations of environmental efficiency. May this event empower you in the pursuit of innovations with your peers, and make the clinical laboratory sciences more efficient and productive," he said. PND (js)

Malacanang welcomes reports ranking the Philippines 87th among 141 countries in Forbes 'Best Countries for Business List'
 The Aquino government welcomed reports that the Philippines placed 87th among 141 countries in the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business List, ahead of China and India, a Palace official said on Tuesday.

 Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday that the Forbes listing is a positive indicator of renewed business confidence in the Philippines.

 Last year, the Philippines also placed 87th among 134 economies. But this year, the Forbes expanded its listing to 141 from 134 economies.

 Forbes said its ranking was "based on property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance."

 "It’s good that we’ve managed to maintain the ranking considering that there are now more countries that are being considered for the Forbes list," Valte said.

 The Philippines came ahead of China, which was 96th. Neighboring Singapore, however, was the highest-ranking Asian economy in fourth, while Malaysia (31st), Thailand (67th) and Indonesia (76th) also placed higher.

 The Philippines saw a huge jump in terms of stock market performance, rocketing to 4th from 15th last year. It saw slight improvements in monetary freedom (61st from 62nd), innovation (62nd from 69th) and investor protection (105th from 108th).

 In terms of property rights and technology the country’s ranking was unchanged at 84th and 77th, respectively.

 "We are satisfied for the time being. But, moving forward, we hope to see the improvements in the ranking. We also note that the ranking went up in terms of monetary freedom and in innovation, and this is very important. Likewise, we went up in terms of the ranking for investor protection," Valte said.

 "And, as you know, that is one of the things that concerns the President when it comes to doing business in the Philippines. We’ve always said that the President has always been pushing that we level the playing field when it comes to, not just foreign investors but to domestic investors as well," she added.

 "We’ve also gone down in some and we’re trying to look at everything that contributes to the ranking," she said.

 Declines, meanwhile, were recorded in terms of trade freedom (86th from 79th), corruption (112th from 110th), red tape (128th from 123rd) and tax burden (110th from 89th). PND (js)

No sacred cows in prosecuting perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, Palace says
 There will be no sacred cows in going after those involved in extrajudicial killings and those responsible will be prosecuted, Malacanang said on Tuesday.

 During a press conference in Malacanang on Tuesday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte assured the families of the victims that a newly created “super body” organized to solve those murders, will also go after military and police personnel involved in the killings.

 “Whoever is responsible. Makikita naman natin ang composition ng inter-agency committee na ito na it’s composed really of the highest levels in government. We are doing this in cooperation with not just members of the Executive but also of independent constitutional bodies like the C0mmission of Human Rights (CHR), as observers, as well as the Office of the Ombudsman,” Valte said when asked about the body’s scope of work.

 “Makikita na lang din nila ang focus and ang commitment natin na matulungan sila sa paghahanap nila ng hustisya para doon sa kanilang nawawalang mahal sa buhay.”

 President Benigno S. Aquino III has created a super body that will investigate the old and new cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and other grave human rights violations, prioritizing those committed under the Arroyo administration.

 The President signed on November 22 Administrative Order No. 35 creating the body. The Chief Executive issued the AO on the eve of the third anniversary of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre where 58 people were allegedly killed by the members of the Ampatuan clan and their followers.

 Under the new order, the President created a nine-member Inter-agency committee on extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons. PND (as)

President Aquino leads  'Araw ng Pagbasa' to promote importance of reading
 In line with his 10-point education agenda that aims to instill in all students the love for reading, President Benigno S. Aquino III led the commemoration of the "Araw ng Pagbasa" (A Day of Reading, A Day of Hope) in cermonies held at the Teodora Alonso Elementary School in Quezon City on Tuesday.

 The President, who arrived with Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Quezon City Representative Jorge Banal, Jr. and Teodora Alonso Elementary School Principal Alicia Masubay, joined students in a story telling session to kick off the event.

 Students from the fifth grade listened intently as the President read a short story entitled "Halu-halo Espesyal"

 The story, written by Yvette Fereol, is about Jackie, a young girl who gets sick and is nursed back to health by the delicious food from her Lola Itang’s kitchen.

 It features Filipino delicacies that we all love: rice cakes or bibingka; chocolate porridge or champorado; ensaymada; turon (or banana fritters); as well as halo-halo, a delightful mixture of various sweets, crushed ice, and ice cream.

 The President told the students the story is largely about the love and care our mothers and grandmothers give us and how it serves to nourish us back to health.

 The Araw ng Pagbasa is the official culminating activity of the National Reading Month of November which the Department of Education declared in 2011.

 Now on its second year, the Araw ng Pagbasa underscores the importance of reading and enjoins other schools to initiate activities that would support this undertaking.

 Araw ng Pagbasa started in 2008 as a district-initiative of Banal when he was a City Councilor.

 In 2009, the QC council passed Resolution No. 332 making the event a city-wide celebration.

 In 2011, the DepEd made Araw ng Pagbasa the culminating activity of the National Reading Month. PND (rck)

President Aquino underscores importance of lessons learned in school and the value of saying ‘Thank You’
 President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the importance of applying to one’s life the invaluable lessons learned in school as well as the simple task of saying “Thank You” as a sign of appreciation.

 The President told elementary students of The Learning Tree Child Growth Center in Quezon City on Tuesday that by sticking by the rules and the age-old adage of “what is right is right and that what is wrong is wrong,” will keep them in the straight path.

 “Syempre dito habang nag-aaral kayo dito tinuturo sa paaralan niyo at sa bahay ninyo, sa simbahan, (kung) ano ang tama at mali. Pagdating na kayo na ang gagawa ng desisyon sana huwag ninyong makalimutan ‘yung mga leksyon na ‘yung tama, tama; ‘yung mali, mali. Hindi pwedeng medyo tama, medyo mali—walang ganoon. Tama o mali at ‘wag nating bitawan ‘yung tama,” the President told the students who held a forum-type meeting with the Chief Executive.

 He added that his administration’s goal to rid the government of the “culture of impunity” as incorporated in his “Daang Matuwid” campaign has “gone a long way” through the implementation of reforms.

 “Dati parang pwede kang magnakaw, parang walang maninita sa'yo, walang manghuhuli sa'yo, hindi ka makukulong. Kung gagawa ka ng mali tapos parati kang nakakalusot parang nagiging halimbawa sa iba na gayahin ka dahil wala namang magbabayad, 'di ba?” the President said.

 “Isa sa pinaka-importanteng dapat nating gawin . . . kailangan natin meron tayong sistema sa ating hudikatura. Ang ating judicial system has to work,” he added.

 The President also pointed out the importance of further nurturing our natural ability to say “Thank You” to show appreciation.

 He said that by uttering a simple message of thanks would greatly help in letting everyone know that the job and sacrifice they are doing is highly appreciated.

 “So it really helps to feel that the work, the sacrifices that you’re doing is appreciated by somebody. So the next time we have an opportunity to say ‘thank you’, perhaps we should nurture that trait that we used to have. And sometimes medyo nagiging impersonal na ang society natin. Let’s bring back the humanity in it and saying ‘thank you’ goes a long way in doing that,” the President said.

 The Learning Tree Child Growth Center was established in l984 by its founder and directress, Prof. Anna Francisca T. Castaneda-Lacanilao, better known to children as “Teacher Francie.” A graduate of the University of the Philippines with degrees in B.S. Family Life and Child Development and a Master of Arts in Education, she has devoted her career as a child educator for the past 42 years.

 The President’s meeting with the students of TLTCGC started when the students inquired of the President in writing about current national issues of their concern. These letters were personally delivered by the children during a field trip to Malacañang recently. PND (rck)