Sunday, 24 February 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, February 22, 2013

President Aquino urges Ilongos to vote for candidates who could help him achieve government reforms

DUMANGAS, ILOILO) President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the residents of Iloilo to vote for candidates who can help his program of eliminating corruption, reforming the bureacracy and sustaining the country’s economic growth.

In his speech during a meeting with local leaders and the community held at the Narciso Monfort Gymnasium, here on Thursday, the Chief Executive underscored the need for national and local leaders in ensuring that the reforms he started would continue.

"Bilang ating mga Boss, nasa mamamayan ang kapangyarihang italaga sa puwesto ang mga karapat-dapat na pinuno, upang pabilisin pa ang tinatamasa nating reporma," the President said.

Anchored on the principle of "Tuwid na Daan," the President noted that his government was able to put in place policies and programs that are geared towards inclusive growth.

"Hunyo nung nakaraang taon, nang nagtungo tayo dito sa Iloilo para dumalo sa kauna-unahang International River Summit sa ating bansa kung saan tinalakay ang tungkulin natin sa pag-aaruga ng mga ilog at ang paglinang nito upang tugunan ang ating mga pangangailangan," he said.

"Kanina (Thursday) naman po, galing tayo sa kapitolyo para sa groundbreaking ng Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) II – ang pinakamalaking dam sa labas ng Luzon, na magsu-supply ng taunang patubig sa tatlumpu’t isang libong ektaryang lupaing agricultural," he said.

The President said that the project is designed to help boost the country's agriculture and energy sectors.

He also said major reforms have been carried out in education, public works, healthcare, electrification, among others.

"Ongoing na po ang pagpapagawa natin ng Iloilo Circumferential Road. Pagdating ng Disyembre 2014, makakahinga na mula sa siksikan ng mga sasakyan ang mga motoristang manggagaling sa Leganes, hanggang sa Villa Arevalo, kung saan po ang dating apatnapu’t limang minuto na biyahe ay lalakbayin na lang ng labinlimang minuto," he noted.

"Kakabit ng circumferential road na ito, patapos na rin po ang Metro Iloilo Radial Road, na magsisimula sa Barangay Tacas, Jaro hanggang sa Barangay Inagdangan, Zarraga. Ngayong Pebrero, tiyak na luluwag at mas magiging maaliwalas na ang daloy ng trapiko sa kahabaan ng Iloilo-Roxas Road," he said.

With the help of the people and the private sector, the President expressed optimism that the government would be able to sustain the country's growth momentum. PND (js)

President Aquino vows to close classroom shortage by end of 2013

PAVIA, ILOILO) President Benigno S. Aquino III assured that the government is fast-tracking the construction of school classrooms to ensure that there would be no classroom shortage by the end of 2013.

In his speech during a meeting with local leaders and the community held at the Pavia Plaza, Poblacion, here, on Thursday, the Chief Executive said that the institutionalization of educational reforms remain his administration’s top priority in order to improve the country's educational system.

"Dati po may 66,800 na kakulangan sa silid-aralan. Ngayon, may sapat na po tayong mesa, upuan, aklat para sa ating mga estudyante. At bago po matapos ang taong ito tapos na rin ang classroom shortage ng bansa," the President said.

He said the government would continue to implement programs such as the improvement of public schools' infrastructure, equipment, facilities, among others.

The President noted that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) launched several initiatives with the aim of providing more jobs and employment opportunities for the TESDA graduates.

"Ngayon po ay may halos 481,000 na indibidwal ang pinapanday ng training-for-work scholarship program," he said.

He said that the government remains committed to strengthen the country's fiscal position, intensify investments in infrastructure and enhance the business, agriculture and tourism sectors.

The President thanked the people of Iloilo who affirm his administration’s commitment to tread the straight and righteous path in transforming the Philippines into a progressive nation.

"Kayong mga Ilonggong nagtiwala sa tuwid na daan ang isa sa mga nauna sa pagpunta natin sa tuwid na daan," he said.

The President, likewise, reiterated his administration's commitment to strengthen its efforts in ensuring that the benefits of the country's growth are both equitable and inclusive. PND (js)

Coloma to speak at opening of World Summit on Information Society Review in Paris on February 25

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. will speak before the opening of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Review on February 25 in Paris where representatives from the United Nation member countries are expected to formalize the adoption of media and information literacy as a single and unified concept.

Coloma will join ministers from other UN member countries in the three-day event to be held at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. The global event would open on Feb. 25 and would end on Feb. 27.

“It is timely that this global event coincides with our own celebration of the 27th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution,” Coloma said.

He pointed out that one of the significant gains from the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986 was the restoration of the freedom of the press in the country. “The Philippines has the most robust and expansive environment for the exercise of press freedom in the entire Asian region,” he said.

Coloma noted that the UNESCO’s concept of knowledge societies is consistent with the information policy enunciated by then President Corazon C. Aquino. “She believed that a well-informed citizenry will be able to make sound decisions that will empower and enable them to participate in shaping a better future for themselves, their families and communities, and their country,” Coloma said.

He will also preside over a plenary forum on media and information literacy and multi-lingualism on February 27. This event is under the auspices of UNESCO’s Information for All (IFAP) programme in which the Philippines is currently serving a two-year term as Vice Chairman of its governing bureau.

Coloma will join the meeting of the IFAP bureau on February 28 to present a progress report on initiatives and programs taken to promote media information and literacy.

A key initiative is to formalize the adoption of media and information literacy as a single and unified concept, a departure from the previous stance to consider the two concepts separately, Coloma said.

“With the emergence of social media as the fastest-growing and most widely used channels for information dissemination, it is essential to promote a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and behavior of media institutions and personalities,” Coloma said.

Ten years ago, the UNESCO launched the concept of “knowledge societies” with the purpose of enabling the people to develop “capabilities in acquiring information that empowers them to enhance their livelihood and contribute to the development” of their countries. PND (js)

ES Ochoa asks gov’t employees to participate in EDSA anniversary celebrations

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. has asked government personnel to actively take part in a series of activities lined up for the 27th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution next week.

In Memorandum Circular No. 44, Ochoa encouraged state employees to extend their full support to the initiatives and programs for the annual celebration scheduled on February 25.

“I urge my fellow civil servants, including those in government-owned and -controlled corporations as well as local government units, to engage in the activities prepared to commemorate the 27th EDSA People Power anniversary,” said Ochoa, who chairs the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC).

“Through these events, we will be able to recall the unity displayed by our country and rekindle the virtues that our people showed during that period of bloodless revolution at EDSA,” the Executive Secretary added.

Among the activities being planned under the memorandum are the Salubungan of the military and civilians to highlight how both can work together to achieve a common goal, opening up of military camps and police offices to the public to celebrate their role in the success of the People Power Revolution, and People Power parades in various localities to showcase the festivity of the occasion.

Ochoa also urged local government units to hold their own activities to commemorate the spirit of the EDSA revolution and support project-oriented celebrations spearheaded by the EPPC provincial councils.
The memorandum, signed on February 19, 2013, takes effect immediately.

“The EDSA event demonstrates how we care and share as a people, as it likewise proves that Filipinos are capable of great courage in moments of overwhelming adversity,” Ochoa said.

Executive Order No. 17 issued in 2010 mandates the EPPC to initiate activities and programs to promote awareness of the principles and values that the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution represents, as well as coordinate the national celebration of the event.

Palace calls on Filipinos to participate in 27th anniversary of EDSA People Power

MALACANANG has called on the public to go out and participate in the country’s celebration of the 27th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution this year.

In line with the annual commemoration of the historic bloodless revolution, the EDSA People Power Commission has prepared several activities from February 23 to 25 including the simultaneous re-enactment of “Salubungan” and a fun run along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) on February 24.

President Benigno Aquino III is scheduled to lead the celebration on Monday by gracing the flag-raising ceremony at the People Power Monument on EDSA in Quezon City.

He is also expected to sign the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, which is the state’s official recognition of the atrocities committed by the Marcos administration against its own people.

The “Salubungan," which is the dramatic turning point of the 1986 People Power Revolution where nuns, priests and ordinary civilians stopped military tanks and convinced soldiers to put a halt to the Marcos dictatorial regime, will be held simultaneously in Manila, Virac, Dumaguete and Zamboanga on February 25.

In the afternoon of February 25, Malacanang will open its doors to children from various orphanages to the Kalayaan grounds from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The program includes storytelling activities that impart Filipino values.

Meanwhile, the fun run will be facilitated by the EDSA Commission in cooperation with the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges Student Network-NCR on February 24. Thirteen medical schools are expected to participate in the race which aims to promote responsibility, patriotism and good governance.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos will also participate in the celebration as he will lead a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on February 23 (Saturday).

Businessmen, government officials, religious representatives and volunteers are expected to join the simultaneous celebrations of this year’s EDSA celebration which has for its theme “Pilipinas Natin, Abot-tanaw na!”

“Approaching the midpoint of the Aquino administration, EDSA 27 will be an opportune time for all Filipinos to gather together as an expression of unity and support behind the unprecedented political, legislative and economic gains of President Benigno S. Aquino III,” the EDSA commission said in a statement.

The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) also has its share in the commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution as it will feature various memories of the historical event.

“To commemorate the 27th Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office pays tribute to the thousands of Filipinos who showed unity and courage in freeing themselves from the shackles of a dictatorial government,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

She said the PCDSPO will feature the “other EDSAs” such as the main roads of Baguio, Iloilo, and Davao – “which contributed in their own way to overthrow an oppressive regime and restore democracy.”

“To support this, and through an exclusive partnership with renowned Filipino filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik, we are making available online a portion of his film, "Why is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?" featuring the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, and simultaneous uprisings in key landmarks of Baguio City,” Valte said.

“In continuation of its project “The Present Past,” PCDSPO has superimposed the iconic map used by President Ferdinand E. Marcos and General Fabian Ver to plan out their attack on Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo onto a current aerial photograph of the area. This map was drawn on a blackboard and remains on display in the Presidential Museum and Library,” she added.

Liner notes on the music of the People Power Revolution will also be published in the website of the PCDSPO outlining several tunes embodying the spirit of the times.

PCDSPO will also be tweeting the events of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution as they happened, based on the compiled timeline of Angela Stuart Santiago, said Valte.

She asked the public to follow the hashtag: #EDSA27.

“We enjoin the public to be one with us in remembering and reliving those four days of the revolution that shaped our nation,” she said. PND (jb)

President Aquino attends 40th anniversary of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan in Cainta, Rizal

CAINTA, Rizal: President Benigno S. Aquino III attended Friday the 40th anniversary of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Inc. vowing to support the organization dedicated to assist Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

In his message during the event, the President said the inauguration of new facilities built with the assistance of foreign donors will open the door for PWDs to contribute to society.

“Ito na nga po siguro ang pinakamagandang pagkakataon upang ihayag natin ang pagkilala sa organisasyong ito—mula sa ilaw ng Tahanang Walang Hagdanan na si Sister Valeriana Baerts, sa inyong mga mapagmalasakit na kawani’t kasapi, noon, hanggang sa kasalukuyan, at sa mga volunteers na walang-sawang nakiisa sa inyong adbokasiya: maraming marami pong salamat salamat sa inyong lahat,” the President said.

“Makakaasa naman po kayong patuloy na magsusumikap ang pamahalaan upang higit pang mapabuti ang kalagayan ng sektor ng PWDs, at masuportahan ang mahigit-kumulang isa’t kalahating milyong Pilipinong may kapansanan sa buong bansa,” he added.

One of the supports being extended by the government to PWDs include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Of the 3.8 million household beneficiaries covered by the program this January, more than 193,800 households have a member belonging to the PWDs sector, the chief executive said.

There are vocational rehabilitation centers training PWDs in different parts of the country, he said. Two centers are located in the National Capital Region (NCR) one center each for Regions 1, 7, and 9.

The President reported that in 2012, around 741 PWDs received assistance from the government. In Region 9 alone, with the help of local governments, the government was able to employ PWDs who graduated from different training centers.

Like normal individuals, the President said PWDs are part of the entire society that contribute to the nation’s overall development and progress.

The awarding of PWD achievers was one of the highlights of Friday’s event witnessed by the President. The awardees include Adeline Dumapong (Kiangan, Ifugao), Rex Bernardo (Daet, Camarines Norte), Domingo Literal (Pilar, Sorsogon), Dr. Enrique Ampo (Cagayan de Oro City), and Edward delos Santos (La Trinidad, Benguet). Engr. Felix Gonzales Sr. of Malolos, Bulacan also received an award posthumously.

Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Inc., a non-profit and non-government organization, was founded by Sister Valeriana Baerts, a Belgian missionary assigned as a volunteer nurse in the Philippines. Tahanang Walang Hagdanan was realized on February 21, 1973.

Located in Cainta, Rizal, the center was organized to uplift the living conditions of the orthopedically handicapped persons. The Tahanang Walang Hagdanan is a rehabilitation and skills training location with sheltered workshops that help PWDs coming from different parts of the country. PND (as)

President Aquino welcomes visiting Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres in Malacanang

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres as part of the continuing efforts to boost the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Malacanang Palace on Friday.

Guterres paid a courtesy call on the Chief Executive at the Music Room of Malacanang Palace. He was accompanied by Ambassador Juvencio de Jesus Martins, Ambassador of Timor-Leste to the Philippines.

Also in attendance were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Philippine Ambassador to Timor-Leste Ma. Aileen Bugarin, and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro.

Guterres arrived on Thursday for a two-day official visit in the Philippines.

In a statement, del Rosario said Minister Guterres’s official visit is a strong indication of the interest of both the Philippines and Timor-Leste to enhance bilateral relations, specifically in the areas of technical cooperation, human resource development and education.

Guterres held bilateral talks with Foreign Affairs Secretary del Rosario. In January 2007, when he was Deputy Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Guterres visited the Philippines as a delegate to the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Cebu City.

The Philippines has maintained strong ties with the young sovereign state, sending peacekeepers to the country since 1999. PND (js)