Thursday, 13 December 2012

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

President Aquino creates  Inter-Agency Committee on Institutional Arrangements for Land Management Rural Development

 President Benigno S. Aquino III has created an Inter-Agency Committee on Institutional Arrangements for Land Management Rural Development to facilitate the implementation of reforms in a bid to speed up the development of the country’s rural sector.

 The Chief Executive issued the directive by virtue of Administrative Order (AO) No. 34 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on November 22.

 President Aquino said the alleviation of poverty in the country, particularly in rural areas where most of the indigents and marginalized sectors of society reside, is a priority concern of government.

 "The national government agencies presently involved in rural development need to streamline their efforts in the delivery of support services in the countryside to speed up the development of the Philippine rural sector and to review their functions with the end view of simplifying protocols and procedures to optimize the use of government resources," President Aquino noted.

 "Pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9700, the implementation of the land acquisition and distribution component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is to be completed by 30 June 2014," he said.

 The President said the delivery of support services, agrarian reform beneficiary development, and the smooth transfer of the mandate of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to the Department of Agriculture (DA) are continuing concerns of the government to ensure that the gains of land distribution under the CARP are sustained.

 "There is a need to create a committee to undertake a study on the institutional arrangements that will ensure the continuity and streamlining of land distribution and management, the delivery of agricultural support services, and the resulting reorganization and rationalization of concerned government agencies," he said.

 The Committee shall facilitate the implementation of reforms in the institutional arrangements for land distribution, management, and delivery of support services to farmers and fisher folk as a means of enhancing the development efforts of government for the rural sector, the President said.

 The Committee shall be composed of the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as chairperson and the Secretaries of the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Justice, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Administrator and Land Registration Authority as members.

 "The Chairperson may invite other members to the Committee as the circumstances and exigencies may require. Specifically, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) are enjoined to provide their full support and assistance to the Committee in the study and crafting of the reorganization and rationalization plans as may be called for to effect the institutional arrangements and transition," President Aquino said.

 President Aquino enjoined the Cabinet Cluster on Economic Development and the NEDA Board to review, study, and endorse the results of the study as well as the executive issuances and legislative measures that may be formulated.

 The Committee shall also constitute a Technical Working Group (TWG) and a Secretariat, through a Joint Special Order, to provide technical and administrative support to the Committee, he said.

 The Committee shall conduct a study on the continuity of land distribution and management as well as provision of support services for the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

 "The members of the Committee are hereby authorized to charge against their current appropriations such amounts as may be necessary for the implementation of this Order, subject to the usual government and accounting and auditing rules and regulations," the President said.

 "Additional funds may be allocated, subject to the approval of the President through the General Appropriations Act (GAA)," he said.

 The Committee shall, within six (6) months from the time this administrative order takes effect submit a report to the President on its implementation. The Committee shall submit quarterly reports to the President on its activities and accomplishments.

 The AO 34 shall take effect after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. PND (js)

Aquino leads conferment of 15th Quality Award in Malacanang; appeals to private donors to assist typhoon victims
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the conferment Wednesday of the 15th Philippine Quality Award (PQA) given to several organizations and appealed to the awardees to help those in need after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.

 The awarding ceremony, held to honor organizations that excelled in managing people, was held at the Rizal Hall of Malacanang.

 In his message during the awarding ceremony, the President said his administration has asked the assistance of the private sector to help the government in its relief and rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged areas.

 “The awardees we have here today are being recognized for their excellence, and I know you will find it in your hearts to help those who were affected. After all, right now, there can be no truer measure of excellence than your willingness to act as good corporate citizens and truly help our people,” the President said.

 “This is a time when we are reminded just how important it is to improve our capacities. Whether there’s an emergency or not, it is always vital to recognize those who have not wavered on the path to self-improvement, and that is precisely why we are here today,” he added.

 Private companies can provide helicopters, trucks and other equipment in the region to meet the government’s transportation needs for relief and reconstruction operations, the President said.

 The President also praised the recipients of the award, citing their significant contributions to the country. And as long as private companies, the government, and the Filipino people continue to work for self-improvement, they will weather any challenge and will become globally competitive, he said.

 Among the awardees include Don Bosco Technical College, Lyceum of the Philippines, University Batangas Inc., Optodev Inc. and Thompson Reuters Corp. Pte. Ltd Philippines branch. They received the Recognition of Commitment to Quality Management.

 Another awardee, the San Miguel Yamamura Asia Corp. (SMYAC), received the Recognition for Proficiency in Quality Management.

 Proficiency in Quality Management is given to companies that carried out quality productivity management principles and significant processes in building sound practices.

 Commitment to Quality Management award, on the other hand, is given to organizations that have shown serious commitment to achieve quality excellence.

 The Philippine Quality Award is the country’s counterpart of the prestigious Baldrige Award in the US. About 77 countries around the world have already established a similar quality award system in response to the growing global competition among organizations.

 Established in 1997 through Executive Order 448, the Philippine Quality Award was institutionalized under Republic Act 9013 or the Philippine Quality Award Act on February 2001.

 The Philippine Quality Award sets the standard of excellence to help Philippine organizations achieve world-class performance. The Department of Trade and Industry is the PQA’s award manager.

 The awardees are expected to share their exceptional management practices as benchmarks so that other organizations achieve similar feat. PND (as)

President Aquino receives Board of Directors of leading provider of Outsourcing and Transformation services in America
President Benigno S. Aquino III received the Board of Directors of EXL, a leading provider of Transformation and Outsourcing services, as part of the government's efforts to further the growth of the business process outsourcing industry.

 EXL Board of Directors Clyde Ostler, Mohanbir Sawhney, Vikram Talwar, Garen Staglin, Rohit Kapoor, David Kelso and Kiran Karnik paid a courtesy call on Wednesday at the Music Room of the Malacanang Palace.

 Trade and Industry Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio joined President Aquino in welcoming the EXL Board of Directors. During the courtesy call, the EXL officials expressed appreciation to the Chief Executive for giving them time despite his busy schedule.

 Panlilio discussed with the EXL officials about the government's initiatives to improve the country's business climate to attract more foreign investors.

 EXL is a leading provider of outsourcing and transformation services to Global 1000 companies. EXL's services are structured around insurance, banking, financial services, utilities, transportation and travel industries

 EXL is a U.S. company that has been in operations since 1999. EXL headquarters are based in New York City and operates over 20 state-of-the-art delivery centers in India, , US, Czech Republic, Romania, Malaysia and Bulgaria with sales offices in New York, New Jersey, London, and the Philippines. PND (js)

Philippine military working with Indonesian authorities in search for missing typhoon victims at sea
The Philippine military has coordinated with the Indonesian authorities for assistance in the ongoing maritime search and rescue operations following the devastation brought about by Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.

 Philippine Navy’s Capt. Robert Empedrad, the commander of the joint task force for maritime search and rescue, said that they have been working with Indonesian authorities hoping that Filipinos lost at sea during the height of the typhoon could still be saved.

 “The good news is that we also coordinated with the Indonesians because when we assessed the situation there is a possibility that some of our missing fishermen drifted to the Indonesian waters,” Empedrad said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday.

 “We requested the government of Indonesia to send ships also and they sent one ship in the area where (there is) a possibility that the fishermen who were lost may be located in the south of Central Mindanao—down Balut Island,” he added.

 The navy assumed that the missing individuals may have drifted 100 nautical miles east of Bislig Island, he said noting that based on the navy’s assessment they could have reached Indonesian waters because of the prevailing wind condition in the northeast.

 The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said there are 313 missing fishermen based on its latest count. The navy has so far able to recover 35 bodies from sea, Empedrad said.

 The navy isn’t losing hope in finding survivors because fishermen with enough supply of food and water could survive at sea for several days, he said.

 The NDRRMC said there are a total of 890 missing as a result of the typhoon. And as of Wednesday morning, the death toll was pegged at 740, expecting the figure to rise considering the number of the missing persons.

 Lt. Gen. George Segovia of the Eastern Mindanao Command said the biggest challenge that the current search and rescue operation is facing is the magnitude of the disaster.

 “The magnitude of the disaster is a challenge in itself. Reaching people in remote areas had been quite difficult but we were able to do that using our air assets. For our aerial capability, the weather continues to be a challenge because, especially in the afternoons, the low cloud ceiling prevents our helicopters from flying over these areas,” Segovia said during the same press briefing in Malacanang.

 President Benigno S. Aquino III has recently designated Segovia to oversee the overall search and rescue operations following the onslaught of Typhoon Pablo.

 The President ordered a wide-scale search operation, to account for all of the missing and return them to their families.

 President Aquino visited the devastated areas last week, particularly Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. He also coordinated efforts for effective relief and reconstruction efforts. PND (as)