Wednesday, 16 January 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Aquino to confer Legion of Honor with the degree of Chief Commander on Dellosa

President Benigno S. Aquino III will confer the Presidential Legion of Honor with the degree of Chief Commander and citation on outgoing Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Jessie D. Dellosa in ceremonies to be held at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday.

The conferment rites will be simultaneous with Dellosa’s retirement and turnover of command of the AFP to his successor Lieutenant General Emmanuel T. Bautista.

Upon his arrival, the Chief Executive will be accorded full military honors with 21 gun salute.

During the conferment ceremonies, the President will be assisted by Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin and Dellosa’ s wife Mary Rose. After the presentation of the award to Dellosa, the change of command ceremony will immediately follow.

The President will then deliver his keynote speech before an estimated 600 guests composed of former Presidents, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Cabinet Secretaries, Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, Foreign Armed Forces Attaches, former secretaries of the Department of National Defense, former Chiefs of Staff of the AFP, officials of the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, and Philippine National Police, Quezon City local government officials, veterans, and members of the AFP Affiliated Organizations and the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1979.

Dellosa served as the 43rd Chief of Staff of the AFP following the retirement of General Eduardo Oban, Jr. on December 13, 2011.
Dellosa, a former aide-de-camp to the late former President Corazon Aquino, is a member of Philippine Military Academy “Matapat” Class of 1979.

Prior to his appointment, he was the commander of the Northern Luzon Command.

A decorated Army Scout Ranger officer, he also received the Distinguished Service Star, two Wounded Personnel Medals, two Gold Cross Medals, 39 Military Merit Medals, six Bronze Cross Medals, Long Service Medal, Marksmanship Badge Expert, and Outstanding Achievement Medal.

Born in Bacon, Sorsogon in 1957, Dellosa is married to former Mary Rose Fernandez with whom he has three children. PND (js)

President Aquino inaugurates Austal Philippines Shipyard operations in Balamban, Cebu

BALAMBAN, Cebu: President Benigno S. Aquino III led the grand opening of the Austal Philippines’s shipyard operations here on Wednesday as he envisioned the shipbuilding company to further expand in the future for the benefit of the Filipino people and the country as a whole.

“Today, we have the honor of formally welcoming to our country yet another company that will accelerate the growth of this sector: Austal Philippines. At the moment, you may still be a growing company in our country, but I cannot overstate the impact of your arrival in the long run,” the President said in his message during the opening ceremonies.

The President told Austal Philippines that his administration will continue supporting the ship building industry to make it easier for companies like Austal to build world-class ships.

For instance, as of the end of 2012, the President said, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) certified around 95,000 welders in its registry, many of whom may be applying at Austal.

“And I assure you, we will continue to make certain that you will have access to a highly skilled Filipino workforce,” the President said. Adding that the "government will not betray your trust, and neither will our people.”

Austal made the right choice when it invested in the Philippines, he said, noting that if the company treats its Filipino work force well, they will not only perform their duties well, but they will take it upon themselves to propel Austal to even greater heights.

The Philippines is currently the fourth largest shipbuilding nation in the world and the President said he envisions the country to be the leading shipbuilder in the future given the skills and talent of Filipino workers and with the investments being poured by companies like Austal.

As one of the leading shipbuilding country in the world, the Philippines posted $638 million in ship exports in 2011, a 57.9 percent increase from the previous year.

Around 45,000 Filipinos make their livelihoods working for shipbuilding companies, the President stressed.

Austal has already finished the construction of one ship for export and it is expected to complete four more ships before the end of the year, which will bring in a total of $70 million in export sales, and give jobs to nearly 300 Filipinos.

The company, which started its shipbuilding operations last year, committed $15 million to develop world-class manufacturing facilities in the Philippines. It also has an additional $4.8 million investment to improve its Balamban shipyard.

Austal is a global defense prime contractor that designs, constructs and maintains revolutionary naval platforms.

The company has facilities in Henderson, Western Australia; Mobile, Alabama; and in Balamban, Cebu. Austal also provides vessel support services from its facilities in Australia, US, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East. PND (as)

President Aquino says he wants to assess PCGG's relevance before its abolition

MANDAUE CITY: President Benigno S. Aquino III said he wants a review of opinions proposing for the abolition or retention of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) as he stressed that the body must finish its mandate before being abolished.

“Gusto nating masigurado muna bago tayo magposisyon na natapos na ang dapat gawin ng PCGG,” the President said during an interview after the visit of Liberal Party’ senatorial candidates here.

“The opinion of Chairman Bautista is that the PCGG has done what it’s supposed to do. But I would want to review the premises also.”

The President is asking for a thorough review noting that the lengthy process that the PCGG has undergone in retrieving the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

Previous administrations appointed wrong people at the PCGG, he said adding that the government is still going after huge amount of wealth like the paintings in New York and many other assets.

He said he wants to know whether the PCGG has done its job and the judicial branch of the government could now take over as recommended by PCGG chair Andres Bautista.

Bautista proposed that the government transfers the PCGG’s jobs to the courts, the prosecutors, or the Office of the Ombudsman.

The President said he and Bautista met a few months ago and the latter had proposed for the transfer of PCGG’s job. The President said he and Bautista are yet to meet to formalize the verbal report made a few months ago.

Instead of rushing to abolish PCGG, President Aquino said the government must first determine whether it successfully has done its job in going after the Marcoses. PND (as)

President Aquino calls on Higher Education Institutions to join government advocacies of peace, education, opportunities and improved way of life for Filipinos

ZAMBOANGA CITY – President Benigno S. Aquino III called on heads and administrators of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to join government in pushing for its advocacies of peace, education, opportunities and an improved way of life for all Filipinos.

The President issued the call in his speech keynoting the Top Level Agenda of Higher Education Institutions for Mindanao Peace and Development held at the Garden Orchid Hotel here on Wednesday.

Heads and administrators of some 433 HEIs around the country converged on this southern Philippine province to map out the academe’s role in achieving lasting peace and development in Mindanao.

Spearheaded by the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, the three-day forum-cum-conference will feature talks by Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Mujiv Hataman and by Mindanao Development chair Luwalhati Antonino on the critical role of HEIs in the reform agenda of the ARMM and the implementation of the Mindanao 2020: Peace and Development Framework Plan.

In his speech, the President echoed this vital role of HEIs saying they were intrinsic to the development and formation of ideas in a community.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa Ateneo de Zamboanga University sa kanilang inisyatiba na likumin ang mga kolehiyo’t pamantasan mula sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa, at sama-samang humubog ng mga mekanismong magpapabuti sa kalagayan, hindi lamang ng Mindanao, kundi maging sa kalakhang bahagi ng lipunan,” the President said.

“Kritikal ang ginagampanang papel ng mga kolehiyo’t pamantasan sa pagbabago sa mga produkto’t kaalaman ng kinabibilangan nilang komunidad,” he added.

He told those present that now was the opportune time to join forces in fulfilling government’s initiatives as the Philippines is now enjoying renewed investor confidence from other economies.

“…mas magiging epektibo…kung handa rin ang ating mga istitusyon para makisagwan tungo sa katuparan ng ating mga adhikain. Samantalahin po natin ang kakaibang kumpiyansa ng mundo sa Pilipinas; samantalahin po natin ang kumakalat na kapayapaan at kasaganahan sa buong Mindanao sa tuwid na daan,” the President said. PND (rck)