Wednesday, 20 February 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aquino to Cebuanos: Support admin candidates for continuous reforms

TALISAY CITY: President Benigno S. Aquino III asked Cebuanos Tuesday night to support the coalition candidates this coming May elections so that the reforms he initiated in government could continue.

In his speech during his visit here, the President said the country has been reaping the fruits of the ongoing bureaucratic reforms and the government’s anti-graft fight.

“Binigyan ninyo ako ng mandato para mamuno, para dalhin tayo sa tuwid na daan. Sa darating pong halalan, may pagkakataon tayong pabilisin pa ang pagkamit sa minimithi nating tunay na kasaganaan,” the President told the Cebuanos.

“Mapapadali po ang trabaho nating itulak sa pag-asenso ang sambayanan kung pipiliin natin ang mga pinunong umaasam ng pagbabago at tatalikuran ang mali at lumang katiwalian. Pagkatiwalaan po sana natin ang mga pinunong magtutuloy ng ating reporma at hindi tayo ibabalik sa dating sistema,” he added.

With the support of the people, the President said his administration has succeeded in setting the momentum for a clean, trustworthy and transparent government. He said major reforms have been carried out in education, public works, healthcare, electrification and many others.

For instance, under the government’s Sitio Electrification Program, it was able to energized 6,898 sitios in the country from 2011 to November 2012, the Chief Executive said adding that in Cebu alone, the government provided power to more than 507 sitios recently.

In the education sector, the Department of Education targets to completely fill this year the 66,800 classroom backlogs to give young students quality education.

Also under the Aquino administration’s “straight path”, corruption has been effectively curtailed in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), enabling the department to save around P12 billion since the administration took office in 2010.

The President noted that the government will continue to intensify its social services to the people especially for the poor.

In December 2012, the President also said that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has registered more than three million beneficiaries. And this year, the government targets to add 700,000 to have 3.8 million households under the government coverage, he added.

In closing, the President underscored the need for Cebuanos to support the coalition candidates, from senatorial line ups to local candidates to ensure that reforms will continue.

The President pointed out that the May polls must set the tone for the country to have good leaders when he steps down from power in 2016.

Joining the President during his Cebu visit on Tuesday were Transportation and Communication Joseph Emilio Abaya, Sen. Franklin Drilon, coalition senatorial candidates and their representatives. Local leaders and Cebu local candidates were also present. PND (as)

Government working to improve Cebu’s infrastructures, tourism sector, says Aquino

TALISAY CITY: The government has set its eyes on Cebu to improve its infrastructure for the benefit of the province’s trade and tourism sectors, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Tuesday.

The President, who arrived in Cebu Tuesday, said his administration has been working to improve Cebu’s road networks as well as its international airport so that the province could move forward.

He also reported that since he assumed office in 2010, the anti-corruption fight of the government made it possible for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to save around P12 billion.

“Hindi nga po nagpapahuli ang DPWH sa pag-aasikaso ng makabuluhang imprastraktura dito sa Cebu upang lalo pang mapaunlad ang inyong turismo at komersiyo,” the President said in his speech during a meeting with local officials of Cebu Tuesday night.

Among the ongoing construction works in Cebu include the construction of the North Hagnaya Wharf Road, which serves as the gateway to the popular Bantayan Island in the province.

The North Hagnaya Wharf Road will be completed this month, according to the President.

This June, the President said he expects that rehabilitation works of Ouano Avenue will be finished, cutting the travel time from Cebu to Mactan International Airport from one hour to 30 minutes.

The widening of the Mactan Circumferential Road will also start soon, the President said adding that this will make travel from one place to another within the island easier and more convenient especially for tourists.

In his last state-of-the-nation address (SONA), the President said the upgrade of the Mactan International Airport will also start soon. He said his administration eyes to complete the upgrading of the airport before he steps down from power in 2016.

Aside from focusing on improving the province’s infrastructure, the President said he is also working on expanding the social services to the people of Cebu as well as the entire country.

At the national level, the number of poor families benefiting from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the government is around three million as of December last year. The government targets to make it 3.8 million households this year.

“Dito po sa Cebu, namumuhunan na tayo sa kinabukasan ng mahigit 97,000 kabahayan upang umagapay sa kanila palayo sa kahirapan at palapit sa kaunlaran,” he said noting that the important thing is to ensure that kids remain in school, graduate and find jobs eventually.

“Ito nga po ang mga pinipitas nating positibong bunga ng pagtahak sa tuwid na daan,” he said.

The President asked Cebu residents to support the coalition candidates so that the reform agenda of his administration could continue in the next three years.

The President was accompanied in his Talisay City visit by Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Sen. Franklin Drilon and the coalition candidates for senators and their representatives. PND (as)

Aquino attends launching of Mactan Newtown in Cebu

LAPU-LAPU CITY: President Benigno S. Aquino III attended Wednesday the grand launching of the Mactan Newtown of the Megaworld Corp. as he assured investors that his administration will continue to level the playing field for businesses.

In his message during the launching ceremonies of the project, the President expressed his gratitude to Megaworld for trusting the government and putting one of its investments in Lapu-Lapu City.

“Since assuming office, we have made a point to make it easier for companies to set up shop here, or to expand, as you are doing today,” the President said.

“We are making sure that we provide competitive incentives to those investing in our priority sectors; and we are making sure that the keys to success in our country are hard work and innovation, and not simply a willingness to connive with crooks,” he added.

The Mactan Newtown is a valuable gauge for the government to know that it has been making progress, he said adding that this kind of project is helping to grow the economy in ways that can be felt by ordinary people.

Once the project is completed, many of the businesses that will be established in Mactan Newtown will create tens of thousands of jobs for the local community both direct and indirect, the President said.

One of the major beneficiaries of Megaworld’s project is Cebu’s tourism sector, according to the President. The project will provide the rooms for the government to reach its target for domestic and international tourists.

The Department of Tourism has raised the 2016 domestic tourism target to 56.1 million travellers. By that time, the President said he expects that the country will need more than 37,000 additional rooms in its destination clusters, including Cebu.

In June last year, the President signed Proclamation No. 407 declaring the Mactan Newtown as a mixed-use special economic zone for information technology, tourism and retirement under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

The township, consisted of luxury residential condominiums, office towers, and world-class mall, is inspired by the “live-work-play” lifestyle concept that Megaworld has pioneered in the Philippines.

Megaworld Corp., one of the country’s real state giants, said it is investing P20 billion within the next five to seven years for its more than 20-hectare township development in Lapu-Lapu City.

The company said its cyberpark at Mactan Newtown is expected to generate employment for 25,000 full-time business process outsourcing (BPO) workers within five to seven years. PND (as)

Malacañang says disaster preparedness measures in place to help mitigate effects of typhoon 'Crising'

The national government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has put in place disaster-preparedness measures in response to the effects of tropical depression ‘Crising’ which is currently ravaging several parts of Mindanao, Malacañang said.

In a press statement released on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that P15,528,181.68 worth of standby funds and P24,121,258 worth of relief supplies have been prepositioned in all DSWD field offices along the storm path, amounting to P39,649,439.96.

Lacierda noted that of this amount, P8,584,738.43 worth of standby funds and a P15,171,087.17 stockpile have been prepared for the Caraga region alone which is among the areas badly hit by the cyclone.

A total of 644 families or 3,220 individuals were reported affected by ‘Crising’ in Northern Mindanao where the DSWD field office has prepared a P607,599.96 worth of standby funds and P3,232,664.20 worth of stockpile, composed of food and non-food items.
In the Davao region, where a total of 8,820 families or 44,370 individuals were affected, standby funds amounting to P4,649,925.54, and a sufficient stockpile composed of food and non-food items have been made available.

Meanwhile, P500,000.00 worth of standby funds and P1,007,649.09 worth of stockpile, composed of food and nonfood items, have been readied at the Region IV-B Field Office; while prepositioned food (4,000 family food packs, 30 boxes of noodles, 158 boxes of canned goods, crackers, etc.) and P3,000,000.00 worth of nonfood items (mats, tarpaulin, used clothing, tents) have been made available at the Region XII Field Office.

“The above prepositioning of goods and services is in keeping with DSWD’s mandate of ensuring the well-being of Filipinos, through the efficient delivery of much-needed goods and social services, especially in times of great need. Rest assured that the DSWD and the rest of the national government (offices) will continue to meet the demands of disaster risk-reduction standards,” Lacierda’s statement concluded. PND (hdc)

President Aquino vows to complete government infrastructure projects in Capiz to further develop its agriculture, tourism industries

SIGMA, CAPIZ) President Benigno S. Aquino III assured on Wednesday that the government’s infrastructure projects will be completed as scheduled to further develop the agriculture, commercial and tourism industries in the province.

In his message during a meeting with local leaders and the community held at the Sigma Civic Center on Wednesday, the Chief Executive reaffirmed his commitment to effectively provide the people of various social services such as health, education and among others.

President Aquino said his administration continues to invest in the needed infrastructure projects to boost the province's agriculture.

"Dito po sa inyo sa Capiz, nakahilera na ang ilang proyektong pang-imprastruktura. Ang inyo pong Maayon Communal Irrigation Project— na sakop ang Barangay Batabat, Pina, Salgan, Poblacion Ilaya, Poblacion Ilawod at Fernandez sa munisipyo ng Maayon, at Barangay Cabugao at Cabangahan sa munisipyo ng Panit-an," the President said.

"Inaasahan nating hindi lamang magpapayabong sa 780 hectares ng lupain at pananim, kundi makapaghahatid din ng mahigit-kumulang walongdaang trabaho para sa construction workers, at mahahatiran ng benepisyo ang nasa 834 na magsasaka," he added.

Anchored on the principle of "Tuwid na Daan," the President noted that his government was able to build on the gains of the anti-corruption campaign and reduce poverty.

"Noong Abril ng 2011 po, personal kong nakaharap ang ilang benepisyaryo ng CCT (Conditional Cash Transfer) sa Barangay Tisa sa Roxas City. Wala pa pong isang taon ang ating administrasyon noon, mahigit kumulang pitong libong household beneficiaries na ang napa-enrol natin sa Capiz," he said.

"At ngayon, mula nitong December 26, 2012, pumalo na sa 37,193 na kabahayan na ang nakarehistro sa Pantawid Pamilya dito. Lagpas pa po ito sa 37,100 na households na target natin para sa taong 2012," he said.

The President also stressed the government's plan to further provide programs to improve the educational system in the country, including the province of Capiz.

With the support of the Filipinos and the private sector, the President expressed confidence that the government will be able to continue expanding the country's economy.

Among those present during the meeting were Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Capiz Governor Victor Tanco, Sigma Mayor Mary Andaya and other local officials.

During the same event, President Aquino endorsed the ruling Liberal Party candidates running for public posts in Capiz in the May 2013 elections. He told the people of Capiz that the candidates of the Team Pnoy would affirm his administration’s commitment to tread the straight and righteous path in transforming the Philippines into a progressive nation. PND (js)

Malacañang says no politics involed in public service efforts of the Aquino administration

There is no politicking involved in the acceleration of the Aquino administration’s public service programs coming into the election period as claimed by other sectors, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

“Insinuations that the Aquino administration and its allies have been distributing PhilHealth cards and rice, and "rushing" the implementation of public works projects, as part of the election campaign, reeks of a malicious, anti-people mindset that aims to cast aside our people's welfare for the sake of a few soundbites,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.

According to Lacierda, the PhilHealth cards were delivered to the beneficiaries of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as part of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro program, which was launched recently by the government, “as a gesture to build good will and sustain the forward momentum of the peace process.”

Lacierda said PhilHealth never sanctioned the release of benefits in the alleged campaign activity of administration bets in Bohol and no representative from the said agency was present during the supposed distribution of health cards which, upon investigation, were not even from PhilHealth.

He also added that the national government was never involved in the release of rice by local executives in Bohol and that the infrastructure projects, which are being funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), are being accelerated precisely to ensure that their economic benefits reach our people before the election ban takes place.

“At no instance—whether during this election period, or during the two years and eight months of the Aquino administration—were these services, or any government-funded initiative, rendered in exchange for political favors from voters or constituents. It is simply government doing its job – a job that must be done regardless of the political climate,” Lacierda stressed.

Lacierda said the public service agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III will not be held hostage by such remarks motivated by electioneering as he called on everyone to exercise vigilance upon reporting and receiving such misinformation.

“We call on the citizenry to be vigilant of the motivations behind such insinuations; the media to present the facts fairly, completely, and accurately; and the candidates and their allies to participate in the democratic process in a manner that is honorable, and does not sacrifice public welfare upon the altar of politics,” concluded Lacierda in his statement. PND (hdc)