Sunday, 30 June 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Sunday, June 30, 2013

President Aquino to lead 66th Philippine Air Force Anniversary in Pampanga Monday

President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead rites commemorating the 66th Anniversary of the Philippine Air Force that will be held at the Clark Air Base in Angeles, Pampanga on Monday, July 1.

Joining the President will be Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista.

The PAF, according to Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol, PAF spokesperson, will mark this momentous occasion with a flyby of the 66 PAF planes over the CAB airfield.

The flyby will consist of nine T-41D Mescaleros, three S-211 jet aircraft, two OV-10 Broncos, two Aermacchi SF-260TP, three NOMADs, three Fokker F-27, three Lockheed C-130s, six UH-1Hs, one Sikorsky S-76A, one Bell B-205 helicopter, one Huey II, six W-3A Sokols, and four MG-520 attack choppers.

This year's flyby is larger by 23 aircraft than the 43 participating planes in last year's 65th anniversary of Philippine Air Force.

The PAF was founded on July 1, 1947, two years after the end of World War II.

The PAF traces its lineage to the Philippine Army Air Corp which was established in 1941. PND (rck)

President Aquino kept tabs on movement and effects of Typhoon 'Gorio'

Concerned about the damage typhoon “Gorio” (international codename: Rubia) may wreak over the Philippines, President Benigno S. Aquino III kept a close watch and keenly monitored the storm’s path since early Sunday morning, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Sunday.

In a press briefing aired over government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Valte said the President took a personal hand at directing concerned government agencies providing necessary assistance to affected residents in the storm’s path.

“The President was monitoring the effects of the weather or the path of the storm until, I think, past midnight po (until) kaninang madaling araw at ina-update ng mga iba’t ibang ahensya ang Pangulo kung ano na po ang mga nagawa sa mga rehiyon na apektado,” Valte said.

She pointed out that the Philippine Coast Guard, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Metro Manila Development Authority and the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council were alerted days before “Gorio” made land fall.

“Nakita nga po natin sa mga balita na meron nga pong mga stranded na ating mga kababayan sa mga pantalan dahil nga hindi pwedeng maglayag dala ng sungit ng panahon. Lalo na sa Region VII, hindi ho talaga pinayagang maglayag ang mga maliliit na vessels at ang mga pampasaherong barko,” Valte said.

“Sa NCR po naghanda ang MMDA para sa mga disaster preparedness natin at na-activate nga ang mga teams, kahapon pa po ito. Naghanda ang DSWD ng mga 137.78-million pesos worth of emergency relief resources consisting of standby funds and some 39,959 family food packs, other food and non-food items,” she added.

“Maganda naman ang mga naging preparasyon natin. So far, the NDRRMC has reported na walang casualty at sana po it stays that way. They will be updating us soon. Malapit na sila ulit maglabas ng kanilang situation report,” Valte said further. PND (rck)

President Aquino to keep addressing challenges on the country's economic growth

President Benigno S. Aquino III will continue addressing the challenges to the country’s economic growth, Malacañang said on Sunday, as the Chief Executive officially marks his fourth year in office.

In an interview over government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the public can expect the President to focus on achieving sustainability of the country’s economic growth and on how the government can make it more inclusive.

“The President has always spoken about this; what are the challenges to economic growth? One, it’s sustainability; and, second, to continue and make it more inclusive so that everybody will experience their share in economic growth. So these continue to be the challenges that we face for the next half of the President's term,” Valte said.

Asked on how the President plans to accomplish these targets for the remainder of his term, Valte said: “You know, the President is always open to receiving inputs or suggestions from stakeholders on different issues of the day that is being faced by the presidency.”

“So, in the same way that we deal with stakeholders, patuloy naman din po ‘yung mga pag-uusap. Bukas naman po tayo sa mga input mula sa mga iba’t ibang sektor,” she added.

Valte also mentioned that the activities of the President will pretty much remain the same toward the next half of his term which include attending public engagements and working on pressing issues that require his attention.

President Aquino is scheduled to lead rites in commemorating the 66th Anniversary of the Philippine Air Force that will be held at the Clark Air Base in Angeles, Pampanga on Monday, July 1. PND (hdc)

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, June 29, 2013

Govt readies P6.9 million emergency relief as Typhoon Gorio enters the country

The government has readied P6.9-million worth of emergency relief resources with the entry of Typhoon Gorio in the country, Malacanang reported on Saturday.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) upgraded Tropical Depression Gorio into a Tropical Storm and raised public storm warning signals in different areas affected by the weather disturbance.

Among the provinces encouraged by PAGASA to carry out necessary preparations include Northern Samar, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Dinagat Island, Siargao Island, and Surigao del Norte.

Residents in these areas are advised to monitor weather developments and wait for further PAGASA storm warnings.

In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has started its assessment of the preparedness of these areas with the entry of the new storm.

In Eastern Visayas, Valte said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) activated its Quick Response Teams. DSWD’s Field Offices will be open 24 hours, Valte said adding repacking of family food packs has also started.

The DSWD has readied 1,040 family food packs and P263,920 standby funds including other food items amounting P1.7 million. There is also an available standby fund of P270,350 for non-food items in Eastern Visayas.

In CARAGA Region, the local DRRMCs have also been activated, she said. There are 2,000 family food packs available in case of emergency and a standby fund amounting to P300,440.

There is a separate P1,042,000 for other food items and P2.7 million for non-food items, she said.

All in all, the total prepositioned food packs, standby funds and other food items and non-food items for the two regions amount to P6.9 million, she said.

With regards to the flooding in some parts of Mindanao, particularly North Cotabato, Valte said the government continues to mobilize its resources to help affected communities.

“Yung sa North Cotabato, patuloy ang pagtulong natin sa kanila by way of emergency relief resources, kasama dito yung standard na mga family food packs, at pagtulong doon sa mga naapektuhan ng bagyo na nasa loob ng evacuation centers,” she said.

“On-going naman ang mga assets natin when it comes to search and rescue. That is standard already kapag hinihingan ng tulong ay nagpapadala tayo agad.” PND (as)

Palace considers senators’ concerns on planned bases agreement with US

Malacanang said it is open to having discussions with lawmakers to allay fears of some senators who said the planned bases access agreement with the US may be violating the Constitution.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Aquino administration is willing to discuss the issue with the senators while the defense department irons out the possibility of allowing US forces to temporarily station their forces in their previous military base.

“Of course, we are open to their concerns. We also understand their concerns and which is why we are open to having these discussions,” Valte said during an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

Valte said the defense department has been studying different modalities on how to operationalize the increased rotational presence of the US in the country in the midst of China’s incursion on Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea.

“Kahit ano pa man ang lumabas doon sa mga mapag-aralan nilang modality na ‘yan, lahat ay sang-ayon sa ating Constitution at sang-ayon sa Visiting Forces Agreement,” Valte explained.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the Philippines is ready to provide the US and other strategic allies access to its bases to counter China’s aggressive activities in the region.

But Gazmin clarified that there is no plan to build new bases in the country because the Philippine Constitution prohibits it.

The access agreement was discussed by the Philippines and the US during a ministerial consultation in Washington last year, he said.

Once the planned increase presence of US military is realized, it would give visiting US warships more security to launch operations in the West Philippine Sea, according to Gazmin. PND (as)

Aquino hopes China spares life of Filipino drug courier in death row

President Benigno S. Aquino III still hopes that China will spare the life of a Filipino "drug mule" who was sentenced to death and is scheduled to be executed next week, a Palace official said.
The President will be sending tomorrow Vice President Jejomar Binay to appeal to the Chinese government to commute the death sentence to imprisonment.

At the same time, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the administration also hopes that the territorial row between the Philippines and China will not affect the country’s appeal to spare the life of the Filipino drug courier.
The Philippines and China are both claimants of territories in the West Philippines Sea.

“Sana ay dinggin naman. Katulad ng mga binanggit natin nung nakaraan, marami namang aspeto ang ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa ating kapitbahay, at hiwalay, hindi lang ‘yung mga maritime disputes, hindi lang ‘yan ang end-all at be-all ng ating ugnayan sa kanila,” Valte said in an interview Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“At gayunpaman, kahit merong mga ganyang isyu ay umaasa tayong sana ay dinggin naman ang ating apela.”

While the President is sendIng the Vice President to convey his message to the Chinese government, his letter at the same time has already been forwarded to the Chinese Embassy, Valte said.

Reacting to a comment of a lawmaker saying the government should cease assisting Filipinos facing drug-related cases abroad to discourage them, Valte explained, that it is the duty of the government to help Filipinos facing charges overseas.

In the case of the convicted Filipino in China, the President’s appeal is not for an acquittal but a commutation of the sentence, she said. PND (as)

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, June 28, 2013

President Aquino declares July 4 as special non-working day in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental in celebration of its 46th Charter Day

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared July 4, which falls on a Thursday, as a special (non-working) day in Cadiz City in the province of Negros Occidental in celebration of its 46th Charter Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 606 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on June 18, to give the people of Cadiz the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

On July 4, 1967, Cadiz was inaugurated as a city by virtue of Republic Act 4894.

Cadiz City is a gateway and premier center of agro-fishery resources of Negros Island. PND (js)

President Aquino appoints new judges to lower courts

President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed new judges to the lower courts, a Palace official announced.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced the appointments during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

In a transmittal letter dated June 19 to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. Sereno, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. informed her that the President has signed the appointment letters of 18 new judges.

President Aquino appointed Judge Cicero Tuazon Lampasa as presiding judge of Kalibo, Aklan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 2, Judge Altone M. Miralles of Tacloban City, Leyte RTC Branch 8, Judge Girlie Borrel-Yu of Ormoc City, Leyte RTC Branch 35, Judge Nathaniel E. Baldono of Borongan, Eastern Samar RTC Branch 2 and Judge Mercedita G. Dadole-Ygnacio of Mandaue City, Cebu RTC Branch 28.

The other presidential appointees as follows:

- Judge Rene D. Romero Jr. as presiding judge of Ormoc City, Leyte Municipal Trial Court in Cities

- Judge Estefanie R. Plaza as presiding judge of Burauen, Leyte Municipal Trial Court

- Judge Ritchie B. Reyes as presiding judge of Daram-Zumarraga, Samar 8th Municipal Circuit Trial Court

- Judge Allan Sixto de Guia Estudillo as presiding judge of Gandara-Matuguinao, San Jorge, Samar 3rd Municipal Circuit Trial Court

- Judge Fiel Ilumba Marmita as presiding judge of San Julian -Sulat, Eastern Samar 4th Municipal Circuit Trial Court

- Judge Gorgonia Pineda-Encina as presiding judge of Capul-San Vicente, Northern Samar 9th Municipal Circuit Trial Court

- Judge Reberna Balading Quibal as presiding judge of Catubig-Las Navas, Northern Samar 4th Municipal Circuit
Trial Court

- Judge Terso Y. Ducentes as presiding judge of Macrohon-Padre Burgos-Limasawa, Southern Leyte 1st Municipal Circuit Trial Court

- Judge Laebeth Lungay Varquez as presiding judge of Tagbilaran City Bohol Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 1

- Judge Yvette Christine R. Labrador-Soleng as presiding judge of Loay-Albuquerque-Baclayon Bohol 13th Municipal Circuit Trial Court

- Judge Maria Corazon Calimbayan Gadugdug as presiding judge of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 2

- Judge Leah Partosa as presiding judge of Pamplona-Amlan-San Jose, Negros Oriental 1st Municipal Circuit Trial Court and

- Judge Ma. Katrina Cabalde Gonzalez as presiding judge of Manjuyod-Ayungon-Bindoy, Negros Oriental 2nd Municipal Circuit Trial Court. PND (js)

Palace to consider proposals of holding regular regional Cabinet meetings

Malacanang will consider the proposal of holding Cabinet meetings in different regions in the country to bring the government closer to the people as proposed by some legislators.
A lawmaker has urged President Aquino to hold Cabinet meetings in different regions every other month. Another lawmaker proposed earlier to hold Senate sessions four months in a year each in Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon.

In the press briefing in Malacanang on Friday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said they will raise the issue to the President to know if he’ll agree to the proposal.

The Palace has to look at this because it will entail logistical issues, she said.

Without such arrangements however, Valte said the Aquino government has not forgotten in going to far-flung areas to reach the people.

Members of the Cabinet has been regularly visiting different areas in the country to know their needs and views for more effective governance.

“Meron ding elemento na ilapit at iyong mga kalihim natin, even on their own, pumupunta sila sa iba’t ibang probinsiya, may mga regional offices sila lalo na at may mga proyektong kailangang ipa-implement doon,” Valte said.

“Sa pamamagitan ng paglabas ng mga kalihim natin, sa tingin namin ay nailalapit din naman nila iyong national government doon sa mga localities na kanilang pinupuntahan,” she said.

Valte said President Aquino not only visits the National Capital Region (NCR) but also goes to other areas in the country because he wants to listen to the people and make them feel the presence of government.

“The President really goes out because he wants to listen… He wants to see the people, he wants to listen to them at para iparamdam naman sa kanila iyang presence ng national government,” she said. PND (as)

Administration making progress in eliminating red tape, says Palace

Malacanang has acknowledged that eliminating or minimizing red tape in government is still a challenge but the country has been making progress.

It was reported that the country’s Asean neighbors were able to post significant gains in fighting red tape in their respective bureaucracies.

The government is exerting efforts to ensure that local government units comply with the Anti-Red Tape Act, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

“Kailangan diyan; isa ‘yung Citizen’s Charter. So ngayon mino-monitor natin ‘yung compliance nila (LGUs) by way of what we call the Anti-Red Tape Act report card survey,” Valte said.

With the report card survey, the public can now check whether their respective municipalities comply with the Anti-Red Tape Act, she said.

Valte also reported that based on the latest government data there are 317 LGUs with “excellent” ratings on their report cards, 309 rated as “good”, 60 “acceptable”, and 36 getting “fail” mark.

“Ang inaasahan natin ay magsikap ‘yang ating mga LGU para lahat sila ay excellent na sa kanilang Anti-Red Tape report card,” she said.

Among the Aquino administration’s reform agenda are fighting corruption and reforming the bureaucracy for more efficient government functions. Eliminating red tape in government would mean improved business conditions and more effective service to the people. PND (as)

President Aquino swears in members of the House of Representatives who won in the May 13 elections

Members of the House of Representatives who won during the May 13 polls took their oath of office before President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang Palace Friday.

Lawmakers taking their oaths came from the Liberal Party and its coalition partners the Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and National Unity Party (NUP).

Those who came from the LP include Rep. Henedina Abad, Lone District, Batanes; Rep. Ansaruddine Adiong, 1st District, Lanao del Sur; Rep. Rommel Amatong, 2nd District, Compostela Valley; Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, 3rd District, Negros Occidental; Rep. Joaquin Chipeco Jr., 2nd District, Laguna; Rep. Antonio Rafael del Rosario, 1st District, Davao del Norte; Rep. Ben Evadone, Lone District, Eastern Samar; Rep. Rosenda Ann Ocampo, 6th District, Manila;

Rep. Mary Anne Pernes, Lone District, Siquijor; Rep. Rene Relampagos, 1st District Bohol; Rep. Czarina Umali, 3rd District, Nueva Ecija; and Rep. Ma. Carme Zamora, 1st District, Compostela Valley.

Lawmakers coming from the NP were Rep. Harlin Abayon, 1st District, Northern Samar; Rep. Raneo Abu, 2nd District, Batangas; Rep. Mercedes Cagas, 1st District, Davao del Sur; Rep. Lino Edgardo Cayetano, 2nd District, Taguig City; Rep. Rodolfo Farinas, 1st District, Ilocos Norte; Rep. Ana Cristina Go, 2nd District, Isabela; Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr., 1st District, Cebu; Rep. Henry Oaminal, 2ndDistrict, Misamis Occidental; Rep. Carlos Padilla, Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya; and Rep. Mark Villar, Lone District, Las Pinas.

The NPC representatives were Rep. Mercedes Alveres, 6th District, Negros Oriental; Rep. Ma. Zernaida Angping, 3rd District, Manila; Rep. George Arnaiz, 2nd District, Negros Oriental; Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, 2nd District, Bohol; Rep. Enrique Cojuangco, 1stDistrict, Tarlac; Rep. Joel Roy Duavit, 1st District, Rizal; Rep. Napoleon Dy, 3rd District, Isabela; Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo, 2nd District, Lanao del Norte; Rep. Imelda Dimaporo, 1st District, Lanao del Norte; Rep. Wilfredo Mark Enverga, 1st District, Quezon;

Rep. Conrado Estrella, partylist, Abono; Rep. Weslie Catchalian, partylist, Alay Buhay; Rep. Douglas Hagedorn, 3rd District, Palawan; Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun, 1st District, Zambales; Rep. Josephine Veronique Lacson-Noel, Lone District, Malabon; Rep. Scott Davies Lanete, 4th District, Masbate; Rep. Evelio Leonarda, Lone District, Bacolod; Rep. Mark Leandro Mendoza, partylist, An Waray; Rep. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III, partylist, An Bono; Rep. Isidro Rodriguez Jr., 2nd District, Rizal;

Rep. Rogelio Neil Roque, 4th District, Bukidnon; Rep. Angelina Tan, 4th District, Quezon; Rep. Felix William Fuentebella, 4th District, Camarines Sur; Rep. Milagrosa Tan, 2nd District, Western Samar; Rep. Pryde Henry Teves, 3rd District, Negros Oriental; Rep. Sherwin Tugna, partylist, CIVAC; and Rep. Arthur Yap, 3rd District, Bohol.

The NUP lawmakers were Rep. Magnolia Rosa Antonino-Nadres, 4th District, Nueva Ecija; Rep. Frederick Abueg, 2nd District, Palawan; Rep. Elpidio Barganza Jr., 4th District, Cavite; Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David, 4th District, Manila; Rep. Frenedil Castro, 2nd District, Capiz; Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva, 2nd District Negros Occidental; Rep. Enrique Garcia, 2nd District, Bataan; Rep. Arnulfo Go, 2nd District, Sultan Kudarat; Rep. Antonio Lagdameo Jr., 2nd District, Davao del Norte; Rep. Evelyn Mellana, 2nd District, Agusan del Sur; Rep. Damian Mercado, Lone District, Southern Leyte; Rep. Karlo Alexie Nograles, 1st District, Davao; Rep. Emil Ong, 2nd District, Northern Samar; Rep. Gavini Pancho, 2nd District, Bulacan; Rep. Ma. Valentina Plaza, 1st District, Agusan del Sur; Rep. Benhur Salimbangon, 4th District, Cebu; Rep. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado, 1st District, Bulacan; and Rep. Randolph Teng, 3rd District, Cagayan. PND (as)

Palace says Criminal Code Committee started reviewing Revised Penal Code to ensure relevance of penal statutes

The Criminal Code Committee started reviewing the Revised Penal Code (RPC) to ensure that the country's penal statutes are still relevant to the people, a Palace official said.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday that experts from different government agencies and civil society groups constituting the Criminal Code Committee started convening regularly to study if there is a need to draft a new criminal code.

"At this point, the Criminal Code Review Committee is still in the stage of studying Book Two of the Revised Penal Code. ‘Ang Book One po kasi ang mga general principles in criminal law. Pangalawa po, ang Book Two, ang mga mismong offenses o ‘yung mga felonies na tinatawag po natin," Valte said.

"Parang 1901 pa po yata nailabas ang Revised Penal Code so medyo marami po doon mga outdated na o napag-iwanan na po ng panahon. At ang kanilang layunin ay para mahanap ang mga best approaches to address ‘yung mga social issues natin that are presently criminalized," Valte said.

The Criminal Code Committee has adhered to the principle that the most effective way of ensuring the responsiveness of our criminal justice system is to make our penal statutes relevant and meaningful to the people.

Since its inception in April 2011, the members of the Criminal Code Committee have been working tirelessly to fulfill its task. The Criminal Code Committee is on track in coming up with the draft of a new Criminal Code that will hopefully improve the administration of justice in the country.

The Criminal Code Committee is spearheaded by key justice sector agencies including the Supreme Court, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, Public Attorney's Office, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, Office of the Solicitor General, Parole and Probation Administration and Land Registration Authority. PND (js)

PIA News Dispatch - Thursday, June 27, 2013

President Aquino cites the Development Academy of the Philippines as agent of permanent change in country’s governance

President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the Development Academy of the Philippines for its innovative, technical and relative programs to support the bureaucracy, saying the agency was a partner of government in effecting permanent change in the way it conducts its business of governance.

In his speech keynoting the 40th Founding Anniversary of the DAP, the President said that these programs have empowered public servants to be effective, dedicated and trustworthy deliverers of genuine service to the people.

“While I may be Chief Executive of the country, it is certainly not within my abilities to personally oversee each and every office in the country. So I must rely on good managers—men and women in all levels of government—who take pride in their jobs and are able to fulfill their demands, towards serving our 'Bosses,' the Filipino people. This is where the DAP comes in ---through empowering public servants with the added learning, training, and competencies they need to meet their responsibilities,” the President said.

“From diploma courses for intelligence officers, to programs for senior managers and executives, to graduate degrees with specializations in rural development, security, and local governance—the DAP has a wide variety of programs that support the bureaucracy,” he added.

The President lauded the DAP for being an “instrument for others to contribute to sustainable development” and advocacy of his Administration that includes inclusive growth.

“In addition to this, you have also provided technical expertise for a number of government’s efforts, including the Results-Based Performance Management System and the Performance Based Incentive System, and the crafting of Citizens’ Charters for government agencies and LGUs. Over the years, the DAP has truly become an instrument for others to contribute to sustainable development. On this occasion, allow me to extend my congratulations, and thanks, for your contributions,” he said.

He challenged the men and women of the DAP to not become complacent and continually update and upgrade themselves in order to keep up with the times and changing environment.

“This is an issue we must all be concerned with, especially now that things have changed in the Philippines. The world has already acknowledged the sea change in governance—our commitment to fighting corruption, instituting good governance, and rendering true service,” the President said.

“The DAP can help to ensure the permanence of these changes, spurring a virtuous cycle of true public service in each level of the government. After all, the people you educate are involved in the daily operations of government offices, in implementing important projects, and in dealing directly with the public. They are the face of the government; they are the ones who will show their countrymen that things have truly changed in the Philippines,” he said.

“Through your programs, you can foster in them a deep sense of responsibility and service. In this way, long after I step down, government will continue to serve with integrity and pride, and keep us all from backsliding into the corruption and impunity of the past. Never forget that you are an agency of empowerment. Never forget the role you play in strengthening governance—and in so doing, strengthening the Philippines,” the President further noted.

The DAP, a government owned and controlled corporation which was created by Presidential Decree No. 205 on June 7, 1973, is mandated to: 1) generate pioneering, value-adding, synergistic ideas, concepts, principles, techniques and technologies addressing development problems of local, national and international significance; 2) capacitating individuals and development stakeholder organizations in government, the private sector, civil society, academe, and international organizations to perform their respective roles and mandates in development more efficiently and effectively; and 3) promote partnerships and facilitate the integration of policies, plans, programs, and systems towards a holistic perspective, through the conduct of training, education, policy/action-oriented researches, consulting/technical assistance, and publications in good governance and productivity improvement.

Joining the President were DAP president Antonio Kalaw and National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. PND (rck)

President Aquino declares July 1, as special non-working day in Maramag, Bukidnon in celebration of its 57th Foundation Day

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared July 1, which falls on a Monday, as a special (non-working) day in the municipality of Maramag in the province of Bukidnon in celebration of its 57th Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation 605 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on June 18 to give the people of Maramag the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

On July 1, 1956, Maramag was formally created as a municipality through Executive Order 272 issued by Malacanang. PND (js)

President Aquino urges mechanical engineers to sustain their excellence, competitiveness, contribution to country’s economic growth

President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the country's mechanical engineers to sustain their excellence and competitiveness and contribute to the economic growth of the country in this era of revitalization.

"The time for our long-sought rise towards inclusive growth has come, and the momentum of our transformation rests on the commitment of every sector ---Push the frontiers of your profession; sustain the level of excellence and competitiveness; and let the spirit of innovation guide you towards success," the Chief Executive said in his message to the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) on the occasion of the 2nd Mindanao Regional Conference.

The PSME opened on Thursday the 2nd Mindanao Regional Conference which has for its theme "Mechanical Engineers Unite in Pursuit of Global Competitiveness" at the Grand Caprice Restaurant and Convention Center, Limketkai Drive, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental. The three-day event, sponsored by the PSME Iligan Bay Chapter, will end on June 29.

"May this conference pave the way to critical linkages and the development of new ideas, thus galvanizing your collective into one solid force in our task of nation-building," President Aquino said.

"May you serve as agents of development, and may you further foster solidarity among our people. Together, we shall forge the equitably progressive Philippines that our citizens rightfully deserve," he said.

The conference aims to update PSME members on the advancement of engineering science and technology. PND (js)

President Aquino leads oath-taking rites of administration lawmakers in Malacanang

President Benigno S. Aquino III led in Malacanang on Thursday the oathtaking of 82 administration lawmakers who won during the May 13 midterm election.

The four senators-elect who took their oath include Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV and Cynthia Villar.

The Liberal Party representatives who took their oath of offices before the President were Rep. Francis Gerald Abaya, First District Cavite; Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa, 2nd District, Cebu City; Ma. Lourdes Acosta, 1st District, Bukidnon; Rep. Alex Advincula, 3rd District, Cavite; Rep. Benjamin Agarao Jr., 4th District, Laguna; Rep. Manuel Agyao, Lone District, Kalinga; Rep. Vicente Alcala, 2nd District, Quezon;

Rep. Jorge Almonte, 1st District, Misamis Occidental; Rep. Isagani Amatong, 3rd District, Zamboanga del Norte; Rep. Sergio Antonio Apostol, 2ndDistrict, Leyte; Rep. Maryam Arbison, 2nd District, Sulu; Rep. Rose Marie Arenas, 3rd District, Pangasinan; Rep. Benjamin Asilo, 1st District, Manila; Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr., Lone District, Ifugao; Rep. Pangalian Balindong, 2nd District, Lanao del Sur; Rep. Jorge John Banal, 3rd District, Quezon City;

Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, 6th District, Quezon City; Rep. Maria Jocelyn Bernos, Lone District, Abra; Rep. Francisco Calalay Jr., 1st District, Quezon City; Rep. Imelda Calixto Rubiano, Lone District, Pasay City; Rep. Wilfredo Casimero, 2nd District, Cebu; Rep. Winston Castelo, 2nd District, Quezon City; Rep. Arnel Cerafica, Lone District, Taguig-Pateros; Rep. Nelson Collantes, 3rd District, Batangas; Rep. Ronald Cosalan, Lone District, Benguet; Rep. Maximo Dalog, Lone District, Mt. Province;

Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr., 3rd District, Iloilo; Rep. Raul del Mar, 1st District, Cebu City; Rep. Antonio del Rosario, 1st District, Capiz; Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, 2nd District, Zambales; Rep. Ma. Georgina de Venecia, 4th District, Pangasinan; Rep. Enrico Echiverri, 1st District, Caloocan City; Rep. Edgar Erice, 2nd District, Caloocan City; Rep. Rogelio Espina, Lone District, Biliran; Rep. Lawrence Lemuel Fortun, 1st District, Agusan del Norte; Rep. Salvio Fortuno, 5th District, Camarines Sur; Rep. Mylene Garcia, 2nd District, Davao City; Rep. Oscar Garin Jr., 1st District, Iloilo City;

Rep. Lucy Marie Gomez, 4th District, Leyte; Rep. Joseller Guiao, 1st District, Pampanga; Rep. Dulce Ann Hofer, 2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay; Rep. Manuel Iway, 1st District, Negros Occidental; Rep. Edcel Lagman Jr., 1st District, Albay; Rep. Paulino Salvador Leachon, 1st District, Oriental Mindoro; Rep. Roy Loyola, 5th District, Cavite; Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, 2nd District, Maguindanao; Rep. Joselito Andrew Mendoza, 3rd District, Bulacan; Rep. Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava, Lone District, Guimaras; Rep. Eric Olivarez, 1st District, Paranaque City;

Rep. Romero Federico Quimbo, 2nd District, Marikina City; Rep. Aileen Radaza, Lone District, Lapu-Lapu City; Rep. Deogracias Ramos Jr., 2ndDistrict, Sorsogon; Rep. Regina Reyes, Lone District, Marinduque; Rep. Arturo Robes, Lone District, San Jose del Monte; Rep. Ma. Leonor Robredo, 3rd District, Camarines Sur; Rep. Oscar Rodriguez, 3rd District, Pampanga; Rep. Herminia Roman, 1st District, Bataan; Rep. Roman Romulo, Lone District, Pasig City;

Rep. Jesus Sacdalan,1st District, North Cotabato; Rep. Ruby Sahali, Lone District, Tawi-Tawi; Rep. Hadjiman Salliman, Lone District, Basilan; Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, Lone District, Catanduanes; Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, 1st District, Samar; Rep. Josephine Sato, Lone District, Occidental Mindoro; Rep. Bai Sandra Sema, 1st District, Maguindanao and Cotabato City; Rep. Eric Singson, 2nd District, Ilocos Sur;

Rep. Marcelino Teodoro, 1st District, Marikina City; Rep. Abraham Tolentino, 7th District, Cavite; Rep. Jerry Trenas, Lone District, Iloilo City; Rep. Reynaldo Umali, 2nd District, Oriental Mindoro; Rep. Isidro Ungab, 3rd District, Davao City; Rep. Alfredo Paolo Vargas III, 5th District, Quezon City; Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, 4th District, Bulacan; Rep. Neil Tupas Jr., 5th District, Iloilo and Rep. Carlos Lopez, 2nd District, Manila. PND (as)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, June 26, 2013

President Aquino declares July 1 as special non-working holiday in Moncada, Tarlac in celebration of 138th Foundation Day

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared July 1, which falls on a Monday, as a special (non-working) day in the municipality of Moncada in the province of Tarlac in celebration of its 138th Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 594 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on June 6 to give the people of Moncada the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

Moncada, formerly called Barrio San Ramon, became a municipality by virtue of a proclamation issued by Don Julian Ocon, the Spanish Military General of Tarlac province on July 1, 1875.

The new municipality was named Moncada. PND (js)

Aquino holds National Economic and Development Authority Board meeting in Malacanang

President Benigno S. Aquino III convened the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board in Malacanang on Wednesday to discuss plans and projects that will be beneficial to the economic progress of the Philippines.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the Board will be coming out with a list of ICC (Investment Coordination Committee)-approved projects as soon as the board meeting adjourns.

“Just to inform you, the President is holding a NEDA board meeting today. The NEDA board meeting is ongoing. The NEDA board is supposed to approve several ICC-approved projects. We will let you know the list of NEDA board approved projects after the whole meeting is over,” Lacierda said.

This is the second NEDA board meeting the President has convened this year. The first was on January 18 where two public-private partnership projects and three rural infrastructure projects worth P146.83-billion were approved.

These PPP projects are: the Cavite-Laguna Expressway and the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway Connector Road while the rural infrastructure are the Cordillera Highlands Agricultural Resources Management Project, the Pasa River Dam Project in Isabela, and for the continuation of the anti-poverty program Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

President Aquino sits as chairman of the NEDA Board while NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan sits as Vice Chair.

Members to the Board include Vice President Jejomar Binay as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, and Secretaries of the Departments of Budget, Finance, Energy, Agriculture, Tourism, Public Works, Environment, Transportation and Communication, Trade and Industry, Presidential Management Staff and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Other members include the Governor of the Central Bank, the Governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, the Chair of the Mindanao Development Authority, and the president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines. PND (rck)

President Aquino declares July 2, as special non-working day in Pasig City in celebration of its 440th Foundation Day

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared July 2, which falls on a Tuesday, as a special (non-working) day in Pasig City in celebration of its 440th Anniversary.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 607 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on June 20 to give the people of Pasig City the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

On July 2, 1573, Pasig was declared as the Visitacion Parish. It is the first Marian Parish in the Philippines and probably in Asia.

The Philippine Commission Act No. 137 incorporated Pasig in the newly created Province of Rizal in June 11, 1901, and became Its provincial capital until 1975 when the Metro Manila Commission was created under Presidential Decree No. 824.

By virtue of Presidential Decree 824, Pasig and the 11 other most progressive towns of Rizal namely: Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Parañaque, Pateros, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Malabon, Navotas, and Marikina were incorporated in the newly formed Metro Manila Area.

Metro Manila also included the town of Valenzuela (formerly of Bulacan), and the four cities of Manila, Quezon, Caloocan and Pasay.

On December 8, 1994, President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act 7829 converting the Municipality of Pasig into a highly urbanized city. The people of Pasig ratified the cityhood through a plebiscite on January 21, 1995. PND (js)

Government to ensure that relocated families are prevented from returning to danger zones

The government will ensure that families relocated to safer areas will not go back to their previous dwelling place through strong cooperation among agencies, the Palace said on Wednesday.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government’s plan to move families to safer areas also entails a mechanism that will ensure that they won’t re-occupy the dangerous housing sites particularly in the cities.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government was given an instruction to make sure that those who are relocated will stay in safe relocations sites, he said.

The police and barangay officials will also work together to prevent them from coming back, Lacierda said.

The Palace official said the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will carry out projects in abandoned areas immediately after those families leave.

“Sinisigurado natin na hindi na sila makakabalik sa danger zones. ‘Yan ay mahigpit na instruction ni Pangulong Aquino, at i-enforce ‘yan ng DILG. At saka may mga proyektong gagawin doon ang DPWH pag-alis ng mga estero families, aayusin natin ‘yan, ng DPWH, ng MMDA,” Lacierda told reports.

He also said the Department of Justice vowed to go after professional squatters.

The present relocation sites will be attractive to those contemplating to move out, he said, adding that these are very different from previous projects that usually made families leave the sites. Those who agree to be relocated could visit the relocation site, he said.

There are structures already in place and families who are willing to be relocated will receive P18,000 as government support, according to Lacierda.

But for the housing projects that are still being constructed, the government will extend 1,500 a month or P18,000 a year for each family to rent a decent home. They will be transferred once the structures are completed, he said.

The Palace official also defended the government’s plan, saying the move isn’t a band-aid solution but a long-term one.

“Ang sabi ng iba 'band aid' ito, ang sinasabi namin, 'first aid' ito dahil ito ay unang tulong sa ating mga pamilyang who are in danger zones, in the esteros, in those eight major waterways,” he said.

“We need to move them out in order to make sure that come typhoon season, hindi sila maaapektuhan. This is not the only solution; our solution is to relocate them to decent structures off site, in city, or near city.” PND (as)

Aquino always expects government agencies to perform their utmost best, says official

The recent “scolding” given by President Benigno S. Aquino III to the National Irrigation Administration led by Administrator Antonio Nangel for its failure to meet its targets should not serve as a wake up call for other agencies to improve performances, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

In a press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday, Lacierda said from the very start, government agencies and its officials were expected to perform “to their utmost best” in order to “deliver our commitments” to the Filipino people.

“This is not the first time he has done it (expressed dismay over the poor performance of a government agency). The President is always frank and candid with respect to an agency’s accomplishments or non-accomplishments. So, this should not be a wake up call. From the very start, the President has said that we have six years to deliver our commitments and he expects every agency to perform their mandate to their utmost best,” Lacierda said.

At the 50th Anniversary of NIA yesterday held at the NIA Open Grounds, NIA Building Complex in Diliman, Quezon City, the President underscored the need for the NIA to work harder after it failed to meet its target to irrigate 81,170 hectares of farmlands last year.

In his speech, the President reminded the NIA to fulfill its mandate to develop and rehabilitate irrigation systems in support of the administration's Rice Self Sufficiency Program and provide an adequate level of irrigation service on a sustainable basis to help the country's farmers. PND (rck)

Aquino government believes that relations with Taiwan remain strong despite Balintang Channel shooting incident

The Aquino government expressed strong belief that its relations with Taiwan remains strong despite the Balintang Channel shooting incident, a Palace offical said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a regular press briefing in Malacanang that both the Philippines and Taiwan remained committed at enhancing their multi-cultural relations.

"Maganda naman po ang trato ng mga Taiwanese sa atin.... Ang relation po natin sa Taiwan ay hindi lang dito nakasalalay sa isang isyu. Marami pa tayong multi-cultural exchanges," Lacierda said.

Last May, President Benigno S. Aquino III said the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) coordinated with their Taiwanese counterparts to resolve the issue regarding the reported harassment and assaults against Filipinos in Taiwan in the wake of the tension caused by the death of a Taiwanese fisherman last May 9 off Balintang Channel.

"Hindi na po nagpatuloy ang karahasang ginawa ‘nung nauna. Tayo po ay umaasa na magiging normal na ang ating relasyon," Lacierda said.

The President, meanwhile, is still studying the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) report on the Balintang Channel incident. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima submitted to the President earlier this month the NBI report of its investigation into the death of a Taiwanese fishermen.

De Lima, who has jurisdiction over the NBI, said the report recommends the filing of criminal and administration charges against Philippine Coast Guard personnel involved in the incident.

The Philippine Coast Guard patrolling the Balintang Channel fired what they claimed as warning shots against the Taiwanese vessel, resulting in the death of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-Cheng last May. The PCG personnel said the vessel was attempting to ram their vessel. PND (js)