Coloma keynotes opening of this year’s ‘Salubungan’ workshop in Malacanang
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. keynoted Thursday in Malacanang the opening of the second Salubungan Workshop being spearheaded by the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC).
“Sa susunod na buwan ay ika-28 taon na ng paggunita natin sa diwa ng EDSA. Kaya’t mahalaga ang Salubungan. Ang EDSA 1986 ay salubungan ng maraming personalidad, puwersa at pangayayari,” Coloma said in his keynote message. “Yun ay salubungan sa pagitan ng diktadurya at demokrasya.”
Coloma said the real challenge to everyone today is how to create a better Philippines for the next generation of Filipinos.
The Salubungan Workshop is being held so that participants could exchange views on important issues and plan on how to relive the spirit of the EDSA People Power revolt, he said.
Coloma told the participants to make their experiences and personal views to become their guide during the discussions in the workshop and craft things that they would want to contribute for general welfare.
“Importante po dito yung nararamdaman po ninyo, yung saloobin ninyo, yung matibay ninyong paniniwala na ‘yun ang dapat na maganap,” he said, noting that the workshop is not an academic exercise.
The discussions will be more meaningful if the participants could feel that they were able to contribute in making the country a better place, he said.
“Magiging makabuluhan po itong ginagawa natin ngayon kung ang bawat isa sa inyo, pagkatapos nitong Salubungan, nararamdaman ninyo na naipahayag ninyo ang inyong saloobin, nararamdaman ninyo na naibahagi ninyo ang inyong paniniwala. At nararamdaman ninyo na kayo ay nakapag-ambag, that you have made a personal contribution in shaping a better future for our country,” he said.
The Salubungan Workshop, an annual three-day event, is a venue for groups from different parts of the country to come together and celebrate the Filipino spirit of volunteerism and love for country.
Participants in the workshop are expected to gain skills in funding and marketing their advocacies from experts in the field in the formal workshop to be held in La Consolacion College Manila.
Among the participants in the discussions will be EPPC commissioners, leaders and achievers in advertising, media, community development, and business sector. Members of the EDSA People Power Network will also be in attendance in the workshop.
The event is also supported by the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The workshop has for its theme: “Tatak EPPN Ako, Ito ang Taya Ko”. PND (as)
President Aquino commends DSWD staff who survived chopper crash during typhoon Yolanda
President Benigno Aquino III commended the two employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who survived a helicopter crash last year while undertaking a relief operation for Yolanda victims.
The DSWD awarded special citation to Danny Franco Bitara and Noemi Mongaya, employees from Region V and VIII, respectively, during the celebration of the agency’s 63rd Founding Anniversary at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City on Thursday.
“Hayaan ninyong espesyal kong banggitin sina Ginoo Danny Franco Bitara at Bb. Noemi Mongaya, na nalagay sa bingit ng kamatayan habang isinasabuhay ang misyon at layunin ng Department of Social Welfare and Development. Kayo ang ehemplo ng mga tunay na tagapaglingkod ng mamamayang Pilipino,” the President said in his speech.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said the special citation is the “best way to express our gratitude to these dedicated workers who risked their lives in service of others.”
Mongaya and Bitara sustained multiple injuries when the Huey helicopter they were riding in, together with two pilots, crashed last December 6 while on their way to a relief work for Yolanda victims in La Paz, Leyte.
The victims were rescued by concerned citizens and were given first aid treatment by volunteer-doctors from Spain.
Bitara underwent stomach surgery due to the incident.
The DSWD provided financial and medical assistance to their employees.
Aside from the two, the DSWD also recognized several outstanding and loyal employees of the department in time for their anniversary celebration.
Employees who excelled in their respective fields were awarded through the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) while those who have rendered 10 to 35 years of service to the department received the Loyalty Award. PND (jb)
Malacanang extends invite to Filipinos to join National Day of Prayer
Malacanang extended the invitation on Thursday to all Filipinos to join President Benigno S. Aquino III as he leads the nation in the National Day of Prayer and Solidarity to “remember the lives lost to the tragic incidents of 2013, to thank the Almighty for the nation’s strength and resilience, and to seek divine guidance as the country moves forward to rebuild the affected communities.”
The invite was extended by Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. in a press briefing in Malacanang.
“We call on all citizens to pause and join “One Nation in Prayer” in their respective homes, communities, places of work and worship on Monday, January 20. We thank the members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) for their coverage of this event that will enable more Filipinos to participate and join ‘One Nation in Prayer,’ Coloma said.
He said those expected to join the President on Monday will be “representatives of the affected communities of the Zamboanga standoff, the Bohol earthquake, and typhoon ‘Yolanda’, and representatives of various faiths: Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Police Superintendent Imam Ebra Moxsir of the Imam Council of the Philippines, Commissioner Zenaida Pawid of the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples, Isaias Samson of Iglesia ni Cristo, and a representative of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches.”
“Also invited to join the prayer at the Malacañang Palace grounds are leaders and members of Congress, government officials, and representatives of civil society and various faith groups,” Coloma added. PND (rck)
Survey results show government determination to eradicate corruption, says Palace official
Recent survey findings manifest the government’s effective efforts to carry out reform in the country’s bureaucracy and eliminate corruption, a Palace official said.
In the SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption conducted from July to November 2013, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said perception on corruption in the public sector remains low among those surveyed.
One of the findings of the survey is that there is an increase in the number of respondents who see “a lot” of corruption in the public sector, from the record low of 43 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2013. SWS notes that the 56 percent is the second lowest since 2000, Coloma said in a statement he read during the Thursday press briefing in Malacanang.
Coloma also noted that according to the same survey, those saying that the administration’s steps in eradicating corruption are “somewhat/very effective” fell slightly to 73 percent in 2013 from 78 percent a year ago.
It is evident that the perception on seeing a lot of corruption is balanced by the perception that the government is taking steps to eradicate corruption, he said.
The Palace official also pointed out that the Philippines’ ranking in the International Finance Corporation’s “Doing Business 2014” report jumped 25 places to 108 from 133 in 2013, citing marked improvements in areas such as getting credit, dealing with construction permits, paying taxes and resolving insolvency.
The Transparency International also reported in 2013 that the Philippines’ ranking improved significantly to number 94 from 105 the previous year.
These findings are recognition of the government’s determination to carry out reforms that will promote good governance pursuant to its commitment to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) through the 21-point agenda announced by the President last December.
The initiative was also supported by the leaders of both Houses of Congress, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Ombudsman. PND (as)
Palace says government agencies working to stop human trafficking
The government expressed its determination to fight human trafficking and has instructed concerned agencies to intensify their efforts in addressing it.
“I would like to emphasize that our government is determined to stop human trafficking in all its forms and manifestations through concerted action by all concerned government agencies in cooperation with other countries,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing on Thursday in Malacanang.
Reports said Australia, the US, and the UK are investigating child sex abuse cases in the Philippines.
Asked if the Palace will instruct the NBI and the PNP to look further into the child sex abuse issue, Coloma said that even before the publication of the report, the government has been working to address it.
“Let me point out that even before the publication of this report, the government has already committed itself to doing everything that needs to be done through an inter-agency effort, through legislation, and through other administrative measures to stop this trafficking,” Coloma said noting that the matter is a top priority for the government.
The government is also addressing cyber crimes happening in the country, he said.
One of the major initiatives is the crafting of the Cyber Crime Prevention Law which has been brought to the attention of the Supreme Court for clarifications. PND (as)
Palace: Local professionals need not worry about losing their jobs
Malacanang allayed the fears of local professionals who worry about the entry of foreign workers in the country as the labor department announced the hiring of foreigners to fill some domestic jobs.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing on Thursday in Malacanang that the government continues to prioritize job creation to reduce unemployment by working closely with the local industry.
Coloma said that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is presently working with the private sector in reviewing the Philippines skewed occupational shortage list, as recommend by various industries, based on their request.
“Hindi ito unilateral action ng DOLE; at hindi po nanggaling sa DOLE,” he said. “Ang request po ay nanggaling sa industriya.”
The industry recommended that DOLE consider the feasibility of opening 15 categories of highly-skilled occupations to possible foreign employment because of the shortage in the local supply.
This is evidenced by the lack of applicants for such job openings and a survey done by the Bureau of Labor and Employment statistics of DOLE, he said.
The move could also serve as a signal to Filipino professionals working abroad to return to the country to fill this gap and for schools to realign courses offered to match the demand for highly-skilled workers in the country, the Palace official said.
The industry and the labor department continue their consultations on this issue to validate the need raised by the industry, Coloma added. PND (as)
President Aquino lauds DSWD’s response to recent calamities
President Benigno Aquino III extolled the dedication and commitment of the employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in attending to recent disasters during the 63rd anniversary of the agency held in Quezon City on Thursday.
In his speech, President Aquino lauded the steadfastness and resilience of DSWD employees who remained focused on their duties despite criticisms in light of the successive calamities that hit the country last year.
“Hindi naman po kalabisang sabihin na kung minsan, kulang sa konsuwelo ang trabaho ninyo, sana ho kung minsan lang. Madalas, mas marami ang batikos kaysa pasasalamat, mas mahaba ang listahan ng reklamo kaysa papuri. Sa kabila nito, natutuwa ako, nabibilib ako, na wala akong nababalitaang isa man sa inyo na nagwagayway ng puting bandila para sabihing ‘sumusuko na kami’,” he said.
“Marami kayong hinarap na trahedya at pasakit pero nananatili kayong tagapagsulong ng pagbangon ng mga kapwa ninyo Pilipino. Dahil diyan, personal kong pinasasalamatan ngayon ang bawat isa sa inyo sa tapang at dedikasyong ipinakita ninyo habang ginagampanan ang inyong tungkulin,” he added.
President Aquino specifically cited the Zamboanga crisis, earthquake in the Central Visayas and the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Eastern Visayas as among the calamities and problems addressed by the DSWD last year.
President Aquino likewise commended the dedication and hard work showed by Secretary Dinky Soliman at the height of the calamities.
“Pati ho ang ating butihing kalihim, kung minsan nagme-meeting po kami nakapikit na siya. Pero tumatango naman at sumasagot naman sa tamang oras. Minsan lang ho nagpa-pause ako at hinihintay ko lang hong dumilat naman po,” he recalled.
Aside from the efforts of the agency in promoting social welfare, the President also stressed the department’s mandate in advancing development in the country.
He underscored the nearly 4 million households that have been assisted by DSWD through the Pantawid Pamilya Program. He also cited the 334,158 households that have been part the Sustainable Livelihood Program; the P1.53-billion pension for senior citizens; P2.85-billion spent for the Supplemental Feeding Program to feed 1.45 million children; and the 3,541 household beneficiaries of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services or KALAHI-CIDSS.
He noted that the government is targeting about 841,000 households that will benefit from the KALAHI-CIDSS, which aims to empower ordinary citizens to actively participate in community projects that will reduce poverty.
“Sana po huwag kayong magsawa na makipagtulungan sa akin upang maibalik ang pagtitiwalang ipinagkaloob ng mamamayang Pilipino. Sa husay ng trabaho ninyo dito, nararamdaman kong magiging mas malawak, mas mabilis, mas pangmatagalan pa ang magagawa nating pagkalinga at pagpapaunlad sa kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan—ang ating mga boss—kahit na gaano pa ito kahirap,” the President said. PND (jb)