Tuesday, 1 January 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Sunday, December 30, 2012

President Aquino leads 116th Rizal Day rites

 President Benigno S. Aquino III led the nation in commemorating the 116th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal in ceremonies held at the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park, Manila on Sunday.

 This year’s observance of Rizal Day coincided with the 100th year marking the transfer of Rizal’s mortal remains which were kept in his sister Narcisa’s house in Binondo, Manila to the National Hero’s monument in Luneta.

 The President, who arrived at 6:50 a.m., was welcomed by Vice President Jejomar Binay, Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairperson Maria Serena Diokno.

 The President timed his arrival early in order to begin the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the exact time Rizal was executed at 7:03 a.m. in 1896.

 Upon his arrival, the President was accorded full military honors with a 21-gun salute. He then proceeded to the flag-raising ceremony which was then promptly followed by the laying of a wreath of flowers at the foot of Rizal’s monument.

 The President, who was accompanied by Armed Force of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Jesse Dellosa and NHCP chair Diokno, saluted Rizal’s monument honoring the country's national hero.

 Simultaneous with the flag-raising and wreath-laying activities were held in other Rizal shrines located in Calamba City, Laguna and Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte. PND (rck)

President Aquino wants stricter implementation of Republic Act 7183 that regulates sale, manufacture and distribution of fireworks
 President Benigno S. Aquino III has instructed concerned government agencies to coordinate efforts in strictly enforcing Republic Act 7183 that regulates the sale, manufacture and distribution of fireworks in order to bring down the number of injuries, fatalities and destruction to properties as a result of using pyrotechnics to welcome the New Year.

 The President issued these instructions after being briefed by representatives of the Departments of Health and Interior and Local Government, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police on their respective preparedness plans as Filipinos gear up for the upcoming New Year revelry on Monday.

 In an interview, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said the President was “serious” about lowering the number of injuries, fatalities and destruction to properties as soon as possible.

 He added that the President wanted Filipinos to be responsible in welcoming the new year and dispatch this habit of “forgetting” their and others' safety as the clock draws nearer to the start of the new year celebration.

 “You know, what we need to do is to make sure it’s going to be lower in the future years. So we must learn from the experience. The President called this meeting because he wanted to emphasize that he’s quite serious about these things, that we need to learn, hindi ‘yung…pagdating ng alas-onse ng gabi ng December 31, makakalimutan na lang ng lahat ang batas, lahat ng kung anong tamang gawin,” Almendras said.

 “Sabi niya, dapat hindi daw,” Almendras stressed saying this meeting was just one of many others to follow in the New Year to discuss “future actions and what steps to be taken for it.”

 He said the President showed particular concern for the large-sized firecrackers that pose dangerous risks to those who use it and others around them. These include the infamous “pla-pla,” “Goodbye Philippines” and “Bin Laden.”

 “I think, the issue was really the prohibited ones. We must put a stop to the manufacture, transport and sale of the prohibited ones,” Almendras said.

 The DoH, represented by Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa, said that there have been 171 firecracker-related injuries reported as of December 29, with 42 percent of its victims are children. PND (rck)