Tuesday, 1 January 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, December 28, 2012

Palace to parents: Watch your children to prevent injuries as New Year approaches

 Malacanang appealed to parents on Friday to watch their children in order to avoid firecracker-related injuries or deaths as the country celebrates the New Year.

 In a media briefing in Malacanang on Friday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte asked the members of the press to help the government raise public awareness about the ill-effects of fire cracker.

 “To our friends in the media, please help us reach the families especially the parents. The DOH (Department of Health) has been actively promoting the 'Iwas Paputok’ campaign,” Valte said.

 Valte asked the parents to supervise their children to reduce the number of injuries or deaths during the holidays. "Loosing fingers or limbs is a bad way of welcoming the New Year," she said.

 “Hopefully, let’s keep it that way; let’s keep the number of injuries down. Please watch your children, huwag nating hayaang magpaputok ng mga piccolo… maraming list of banned fireworks,” Valte said.

 “Please, let us keep a very tight watch on our children kasi kawawa naman sila. But nonetheless, the DOH and our public hospitals are very well-prepared for what we hope to be minimal cases of fireworks-related injuries,”

 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 percent lower compared to the same period last year.

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

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

 In a press briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government continues to step up its campaign against dangerous firecrackers and pyrotechnics to ensure public safety.

 The campaign also aims to avoid or minimize the adverse effects of firecrackers to the environment, he said. PND (as)

Government envisions long-term plan to rebuild typhoon-damaged areas in Mindanao
 The government will carry out long-term solutions to the problems created by the devastation of Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao, a Palace official said on Friday.

 In the last Cabinet meeting, President Benigno S. Aquino III told the members of his Cabinet to focus on long-term solutions aside from the ongoing relief and relocation of affected families in Mindanao, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

 After seeing the areas hit by the typhoon, Valte said the President acknowledged the effects of climate change to vulnerable communities that made safe areas no longer habitable for people.

 “Ang mahigpit na utos ng Pangulo ay kung ire-relocate itong mga taong ito, siguraduhin, kung saan sila ililipat ay tiyak din ‘yung kanilang kaligtasan,” Valte said.

 The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have been working together to watch out for threats brought about by weather disturbances, she said.

 Among these initiatives include Project NOAH and the geo-hazard mapping being carried out by the DENR, Valte added. Information related to weather disturbances has been distributed to the local government units to make sure that they can sufficiently warn their constituents to avoid loss of lives, she said.

 In a recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, it reported a drop in the public’s hopefulness for 2013, particularly in devastated areas in Mindanao.

 This perception among typhoon victims is understandable, according to Valte, adding that the administration has been relentless in its efforts to extend assistance and help them rebuild their lives. PND (as)

Aquino government expresses support for plan of BIR to study possibility of taxing online stores
 The Aquino administration expressed support for the Bureau of Internal Revenue's plan to study the possibility of taxing online stores by next year, a Palace official said on Friday.

 Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte issued the statement during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday following the announcement of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares that the agency plans to tax online stores which earn considerable revenues.

 The BIR chief said online shops are no different from the actual stalls that sell items or merchandises to people.

 Henares emphasized the need for online businesses to be registered with the BIR to level the playing field in the buy-and sell market. She also said that online businesses should also issue on-line receipts.

 "Ang hinahabol naman po ni Commissioner Kim Henares dito ay makapagbayad po sila ng tamang income tax at ng tamang VAT (value-added tax) kasi sales naman po ‘yan at dapat pinapatawan talaga ng VAT depende sa binebentang item… lalo na kung retail po ‘yan, that really is subject to VAT," Valte said.

 The BIR's proposal aims to boost tax collection next year and protect the rights of consumers who wish to return or exchange the items they bought.

 "Ang tina-target po really ng BIR are the online sites that really do selling for business. Hindi po ‘yung---halimbawa meron kang bag tapos, gusto mo nang ibentang pre-owned or--hindi po ganoon. ‘Yung mga secondhand items. Hindi po ganoon ‘yung intensiyon ng BIR," Valte said.

 Traders and sellers usually conduct their transactions through buy-and-sell websites. PND (js)