Sunday, 17 March 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, March 16, 2013

Aquino inaugurates Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inauguration on Saturday of the Solaire Resort and Casino in ParaƱaque City expecting the facility to contribute to further increase tourist arrivals in the country.

Countries in the region, such as Macau and Singapore are always competing for bigger pieces of the gaming and entertainment industry. And the presence of Solaire in the country is a positive proof that Filipinos can strike productive balance between work and play, the President said in his message during the event.

The chief executive expressed his gratitude to the investors for putting their money in the Philippines noting that businessmen see today the country’s economy brimming with optimism and new life and at the same time consider the Philippines as a world-class tourist destination.

Such initiative will have significant contribution to the national economy as it creates 4,000 jobs for Filipinos, the President said.

“These jobs will also take on a multiplier effect. Since the people you employ will become empowered consumers, they will be spending more money on groceries, schools, and other products and services, in their own way stimulating the economy and encouraging further the growth of industries that will in turn create even more jobs,” he said.

Recent developments make it more favorable to the country’s tourism sector, President Aquino said. For instance, he said that in two years, the Philippines has jumped 12 spots—from 94th to 82nd—in the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Index.

In fact, the President said that in the World Economic Forum’s 2013 report, it ranked the Philippines first in the world in government spending on tourism as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), demonstrating the government’s determination to enhance the tourism industry.

This commitment is yielding positive results, he said. In 2011, the Philippines recorded 37.5 million domestic travelers, exceeding its 2016 target by two million, the President noted. The Aquino administration targets to achieve 10 million tourist arrivals in the country in 2016.

Due to the continued influx of tourists, the Department of Tourism has revised its target for domestic tourism in 2016 to 56.1 million. Furthermore, he said that in 2012, the country recorded 4.3 million international visitors, the first time it breached the 4 million mark.

With the lifting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the Significant Safety Concerns for the country, the President said it would mean more boost to the sector.

Because of this development, the Philippines is moving closer to resuming the country’s aviation operations in Europe and the United States, he said.

The President said he also signed into law Republic Act No. 10378, which removes the 3 percent common carriers tax for all international air and shipping carriers on receipts and income derived from transporting passengers.

The law also exempts these carriers from paying the Philippine billings tax derived from the carriage of passengers, cargo, or mail. With the signing, the law will encourage more foreign carriers to expand their operations in the Philippines thus creating more jobs, bringing in more tourists, and allowing for the growth of the tourism industry, he said.

“Let me reaffirm ---the Philippines now has a government fully committed to pursuing both the prosperity of our people, and the prosperity of those who have placed their confidence in us,” the President said.

“Rest assured, in the coming years, we will give not just tourists, but businessmen like you, even more reason to believe that, truly, it is more fun in the Philippines.” PND (as)

Palace welcomes Germany’s decision to hire Filipino nurses

Malacanang welcomed the plan of Germany to open its doors to Filipino nurses saying it will create additional options to Filipino nurses looking for employment overseas.

“With the opening of Germany as a possible employer for our nurses, magandang balita ‘yan doon sa iba dahil dumarami ang kanilang options,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

Germany would be another market that will open its door for Filipino nurses in addition to traditional destinations like the US, Britain, Australia and Middle East.

As countries like Germany starts to give new opportunities to Filipino nurses, Valte said the Aquino administration will continue addressing the surplus of nurses in the country through various programs.

“Marami tayong mga guma-graduate na nurse, ang pamahalaan naman locally, ang ginagawa natin is that meron ‘yung tinatawag nating RN Heals Program and that gives the training ground and the experience for our nurses if they want to go abroad and to earn a living,” Valte said.

With Germany’s announcement of its plan to hire Filipino nurses, the Philippines and Germany are set to sign an agreement that will pave the way for the deployment of Filipino health workers guaranteeing professional training and ensuring a healthy work environment.

The agreement will ensure that Filipino nurses will have adequate linguistic and professional preparation to work in Germany as part of a “triple win formula” agreed by both countries.

The deployment agreement is part of the enhanced labor cooperation between the Philippines and Germany following a discussion in Manila last month. PND (as)

Assistance of European Union to boost government fight against human trafficking, Palace says

The P80 million assistance of the European Union to the Philippines and other countries intended to fight human trafficking will be a significant contribution to end the menace, the Palace said on Saturday.

“It’s important that we get support for our efforts against human trafficking. As you can see, unti-unti we have been making progress on that front,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over government-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

The country remains in the Tier 2 status of the US State Department’s Human Trafficking Report. The Philippines was previously being considered to be in the black list.

“We continue to press on that front. The Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking has been leading the efforts and I understand also from the Department of Social Welfare and Development that we’ve been making progress when it comes to the cases that have been filed,” Valte said.

The European Union extended its P80 million support Friday through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The EU will provide P86 million or 80 percent of the financing for a regional project aimed at improving regular migration flows from targeted countries including the Philippines.

The two-year project is the continuation of other projects implemented between 2006-2010 aimed at facilitating legal migration and promoting regional dialogue on safe and legal migration.

The objectives for the Philippines include supporting the government’s programs to encourage ethical practices in job hiring, developing migrant resource centers, and intensifying campaigns against illegal recruitment, trafficking and irregular migration, especially to Europe.

At least P16 million will directly benefit the Philippines under this project which will be implemented by the IOM in cooperation with UN Women. The main partner of the migration center's officet in the Philippines is the Department of Labor and Employment.

The project also builds on the Campaign Against Illegal Recruitment, Trafficking and Irregular Migration (CAIRTIM) implemented by the IOM with the DOLE and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

It will target four of the country’s poorest provinces which include Masbate, Antique, Maguindanao and Agusan del Sur. PND (as)