President Aquino declares February 26 as special non-working day in Zamboanga City in celebration of its 76th Charter Day
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared February 26, which falls on a Tuesday, as a special (non-working) day in the city of Zamboanga, in celebration of its 76th Charter Day anniversary or "Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga”.
The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 544 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on February 6 to give the people of Zamboanga City the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
Zamboanga City became a chartered city in 1937 by virtue of Commonwealth Act. No. 39, when the Philippines was still ruled by a Commonwealth Government under then-President Manuel L. Quezon.
For the second year, the City Government will co-sponsor with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the 2nd Zamboanga International Film Festival.
The festival gives young and old Zamboangueños the opportunity to screen Filipino and international indie films at the Mindpro Cinema.The Red Carpet Night will be at 7 p.m. at the Centro Latino Hall at the Paseo del Mar on February 23.
The city government has also lined-up several activities for the celebration of “Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga, including street dancing, a cultural dance festival and a regatta. PND (js)
Malacanang says Philippine and Malaysian authorities in talks to resolve ‘Sabah standoff’
Hoping to reach a peaceful resolution to a week-long “standoff” between Malaysian authorities and some 100 Filipinos acting on orders from Sultan Jamalul Kiram of Sulu to claim a portion of Malaysia’s Sabah state, Malacanang said that representatives from the two countries were deep into discussions on the matter.
In a press briefing on Tuesday in Malacanang, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the talks were being conducted also with “other parties involved in the incident” and that it would be prudent for all to await the outcome of the talks.
“…what I can tell you today is that discussions are ongoing between Philippine and Malaysian authorities as well as with the other parties involved in the incident,” Valte said.
“Hintayin natin ang magiging bunga ng mga pag-uusap nila,” she added.
Valte stressed that the Department of Foreign Affairs is doing all it can to peacefully end the standoff “in line with our national interest” as well as with the “protection of our citizens as their (DFA) utmost priority.”
“Naka-tutok po ang DFA. Una po ang ginagawa ng DFA ay ang pakikipag-ugnay sa Malaysia at kung papaano magkakaroon ng mapayapang pagtatapos ang insidenteng ito,” Valte said. PND (rck)
President Aquino signs Administrative Order No. 37 creating Task Force on Bangsamoro to develop, implement programs and projects for Moro Islamic Liberation Front communities
President Benigno S. Aquino III has created the Task Force on Bangsamoro Development to develop and implement programs and projects for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) communities as well as internally-displaced and poverty-stricken communities throughout Mindanao.
The Chief Executive ordered the creation of the task force by virtue of Administrative Order (AO) No. 37, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday.
The AO No. 37 was signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on February 13.
Pursuant to the President's Social Contract, the government endeavors to attain a broadly supported, just, and lasting peace that will redress decades of neglect of the Moro and other peoples of Mindanao.
The comprehensive peace process agenda in Mindanao is an indispensable component of real and inclusive regional and national development goals, the President said.
The government and the MILF entered into the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro on October 15, 2012, which is envisioned to pave the way for the peaceful resolution of the armed struggle in Mindanao.
The President said the government acknowledges its commitment to exert all efforts towards realizing the full implementation of the Framework Agreement.
"The Framework Agreement states that the Government and the MILF shall intensify development efforts for rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development in Mindanao, and institute programs to address the needs of MILF combatants, internally displaced persons, and poverty-stricken communities throughout Mindanao," he said.
The President designated Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras as the chairperson of the taskforce.
He likewise designated as members of the taskforce Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala Jr., Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Presidential Management Staff Secretary Julia Abad, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Ricky Carandang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Chairperson Joel Villanueva, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and president of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.
The task force shall develop and implement programs and projects in response to the health, education, and livelihood needs of the MILF priority beneficiaries, internally displaced persons, and poverty-stricken communities throughout Mindanao.
"For this purpose, the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program shall be implemented as the Government’s initial support for identified MILF combatants and families and other affected persons; and communities after the signing of the Framework Agreement," President Aquino said.
The task force shall coordinate with the Transition Commission, created pursuant to Executive Order No. 120 (s. 2012), in the development and implementation of the foregoing programs and projects.
It may likewise consult with other relevant government instrumentalities and/or non¬government organizations in carrying out the functions of the task force.
The President also directed the task force to develop and implement a communications strategy on the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program.
The task force shall monitor, in coordination with the Transition Commission, the implementation of development projects and programs of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program, and submit regular reports to the Office of the President.
The Task Force may create technical committees and designate members thereof, and may engage the assistance of experts and professional advisors, subject to government rules and regulations.
The member-agencies of the Task Force are hereby authorized to charge against their current appropriations such amounts as may be necessary for the implementation of this Order, subject to the usual government accounting arid auditing rules and regulations, President Aquino said.
Subsequent funding requirements shall be incorporated in the annual budget proposals of the respective member-agencies through the General Appropriations Act (GAA). Additional funds as may be necessary for the implementation of the Order may be allocated from the President’s Social Fund and Contingent Fund, subject to the approval of the President.
The Order shall take effect immediately. PND (js)
President Aquino creates Task Force on Bangsamoro Development
President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued a directive for the creation of the Task Force on Bangsamoro Development to push forward the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the region following the signing of the framework agreement for a peace settlement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Tuesday.
Ochoa said Administrative Order No. 37, which President Aquino signed on February 13, will ensure that development projects and programs are implemented in Bangsamoro, a new autonomous region that will be established in Mindanao, for MILF combatants and their families as well as communities that will be affected by the framework agreement signed in October last year.
The task force, according to Ochoa, is mandated to develop and implement programs that will respond to the health, education and livelihood needs of MILF priority beneficiaries and poverty-stricken communities throughout Mindanao.
“The peaceful resolution of the conflict in Mindanao goes beyond the signing of the framework agreement. This administration wants to ensure that peace and progress go hand in hand,” Ochoa said.
The Aquino administration last week took the initial step to help MILF forces and their families and affected persons and communities with the launch of the social development plan called Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program in Maguindanao.
“Although the initial beneficiaries of the program will be MILF members and their families, other residents in the region will also receive the benefits of the peace agreement and the development and livelihood initiatives that go with it,” the Executive Secretary said.
The task force is composed of the Cabinet secretary as chairperson and the heads of the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Health (DOH), Education (DepEd), Agriculture (DA), the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Budget and Management, and the presidential adviser on the peace process (OPAPP) as members.
Other members are the secretaries of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO), the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS), as well as the heads of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PHIC).
The President also instructed the task force to coordinate with the Transition Commission, created under Executive Order No. 120 last year, in the development and implementation of the program.
He likewise ordered the task force and Transition Commission to jointly monitor the implementation of the development projects and submit regular reports to the Office of the President.
Funding for the operation of the task force will be drawn initially from the current budgets of member-agencies and subsequent appropriations will be incorporated in their annual budget proposals.
AO 37 shall take effect immediately.