Tuesday, 29 January 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Aquino declares February 11 as a special non-working day in Iriga City in Camarines Sur
 President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared February 11, which falls on a Monday, as a special (non-working) day in the city of Iriga in the province of Camarines Sur in celebration of the Tinagba Festival.

 The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 538 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on January 28 to give the people of Iriga the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion.

 Iriga City celebrates the Tinagba Festival, an ancient Bicolano First-Harvest Offering, every 11th of February. The festival coincides with the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

 The word Tinagba is derived from the Bicol word "Tagba" which means "to gather the first harvest and offer it to God." PND (js)

Aquino highlights NEDA’s contribution to nation building
 President Benigno S. Aquino III acknowledged the contributions of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in nation building as the agency celebrated Tuesday its 40th anniversary.

 The Philippine economy is growing, the President said in his message during the celebration held at NEDA’s head office in Pasig City.

 The chief executive said that while the economy grows, NEDA must strive hard to attain sustainable and broad-based growth for the benefit of the Filipinos.

 “We have much left to do, and NEDA will become an even more important partner in the years ahead. If we want to be sure that our efforts will yield the best results, our next moves must be calculated,” he said.

 “We are counting on you. Today, I am asking each one of you to strive for even better performance of your duties,”

 To sustain this growth, the government must continue its efforts to level the playing field, weed out corruption, and step up the country’s competitiveness in the global market.

 The government will also continue to invest in human capital through education, health, and social services, he said adding the administration also identified key sectors for growth and have put in place initiatives that will facilitate growth.

 The President said he’s glad NEDA is truly dedicated to fulfilling its mandate and serving the people not based on political convenience or self-aggrandizement.

 This is the reason why in 2010, NEDA translated the administration’s commitments in its Social Contract with the Filipino People into specific strategies and programs.

 NEDA formulated the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, which set the administration’s goals of achieving inclusive growth, creating employment opportunities, and reducing poverty, as well as the strategies it employs to realize important goals, the President said.

 The President also thanked former Secretary Cayetano Paderanga, and current Secretary Arsenio Balisacan for their dedication to make the NEDA event better.

 Also present during Tuesday’s event were Secretary Balisacan, former Secretary Cayetano Paderanga, and employees of the NEDA and its attached agencies. PND (as)

Unity could propel the Philippines to progress, says Aquino
 The Philippines could fully succeed economically in the future if there is national unity and every Filipino makes individual commitments, President Benigno S. Aquino III said during the 40th anniversary celebration of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Tuesday.

 The President, who arrived last weekend from attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Switzerland, recounted his experiences while in the European country.

 There is a disparity in terms of the number of people between the Philippines and Switzerland, he said, noting that the latter even had to deal with a more hostile environment.

 But despite the challenges, he said Switzerland has become a very rich country after striving hard to maximize the effects of its comparative advantage particularly in finance.

 “Simple lang ---talagang mapaparating tayo sa paroroonan natin kung lahat tayo kumakayod at humahatak tungo sa isang direksyon, kung ibibigay natin ang kaya natin. Kung lalampasan natin ang akala nating kaya natin ay baka naman mapadali ang parating natin doon,” the President said in his speech.

 The use of timely and accurate government data is also important so that economic managers can formulate the right strategy and decision for the national good, he said.

 “May kasabihan sa mahilig sa computer, ‘Garbage in, garbage out.’ Kapag mali ang datos, o hindi naaangkop ang lunas, lalong maaantala ang desisyon,” he said.

 The country also changed a lot since the administration took office more than two years ago, he said. Today, foreign investors are scrambling to put their businesses here. Several years ago, the Philippines wasn’t even in their radar, the President said.

 The country is also an example to other countries for its anti-corruption fight, he said. The President noted that while other countries are struggling to make an effective anti-corruption strategy, the Philippines has been successful in carrying out anti-graft and corruption initiatives. PND (as)