Palace seeks more support for ice skater Martinez's future competitions
As it hailed his performance in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Malacañang on Saturday voiced hopes for more support for figure skater Michael Christian Martinez in his future competitions.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Martinez's showing at the Olympics should attract many in the private sector to extend more support for Martinez in the long road to the 2018 Olympics.
"Hindi biro ang training sa isang Olympics. Undeniably (his performance) will attract more attention for him and hopefully donors from the private sector will come (Preparing for the Olympics is no joke. Undeniably, his performance will attract more attention for him and hopefully donors from the private sector will come)," Valte said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
"It's a long road to 2018 and we wish him the best of luck," she added.
She also noted many private companies quietly gave their support at least for Martinez's finances.
Martinez earned the respect and admiration of many when he represented the Philippines, a tropical country, in the Winter Olympics.
Valte also noted the Philippine Sports Committee extended support to Martinez as well.
"With the attention he has received and the heart he has shown everybody siguro mas ma-improve ang situation (With the attention he has received and the heart he has shown, we expect his situation to improve)," she said. PND (jl)
Yolanda survivors continue to get help from government, Palace maintains
Malacañang on Saturday reassured survivors of super Typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan) they will continue to get help from the government, more than three months after the typhoon devastated Visayas and parts of Southern Luzon.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said national government agencies continue to push for what "needs to be done" in areas hit by the super typhoon.
"We will keep pushing for those improvements and we will keep pushing for actions that need to be done on the ground for victims of Typhoon Yolanda. ... Ipagpatuloy natin ang kailangan gawin para matulungan pa sila (We will continue to do what is needed to help them)," she said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
Yolanda left more than 6,200 dead after devastating the Visayas and Southern Luzon last November.
Some survivors had expressed disappointment with what they claimed was the lack of support by the government for them.
"We continue to assure everybody the national government agencies involved will continue to push for what needs to be done in areas hit by Yolanda," Valte replied. PND (jl)
Palace: Government keeping tabs on evacuees from Zamboanga siege
Malacañang on Saturday assured residents affected by last September's attack by followers of Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari that the government continues to keep tabs on their needs.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Social Welfare and Development is coordinating with the Department of Health in attending to the health needs of the evacuees.
"Kailangan ng DSWD ng tulong sa ibang ahensya. Nakikipag-usap sila sa DOH kung papaano mas madadamihan ang health workers na naroon sa evacuation centers kasi marami pa rin ang taong inaalagaan doon (The DSWD needs help from other agencies. It is talking with the DOH on how to increase the number of health workers in evacuation centers to take care of the people there)," she said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
She gave the assurance following reports many residents affected by the September siege had died while staying in evacuation centers.
Citing news reports, she said many died of illnesses but some also died of gunshot wounds.
"Ina-assure natin ang mga kababayan na tinututukan ng DSWD, katulong ang mga private NGOs, para mas mapaganda ang sitwasyon doon (We assure them the DSWD and non-government organizations are working to improve their lot)," she said. PND (jl)
Palace: Prospective witnesses in PDAF mess to be scrutinized
Prospective witnesses who wish to testify in the investigation into the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations by some lawmakers will have to undergo a process by the Department of Justice.
Malacañang stressed this Saturday amid reports one of the personalities linked to the mess had sent feelers he would testify in the probe.
"Hindi lahat gagawing state witness. It's a process, there is a process being undertaken by the DOJ to detemine the testimony being offered (Not all people can become state witnesses. There is a process being undertaken by the DOJ to study their testimonies)," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
She referred to reports that actor Mat Ranillo III had sent feelers he would help shed light on the investigation.
Valte noted that while President Benigno Aquino III had said the government will appreciate people coming out with information on the mess, "it's very important for us to stress the DOJ will be evaluating the testimony being offered," she said.
Valte also assured that government has enough resources to protect the witnesses.
"May naging improvement in the administration and in the running of the witness protection program. Ina-assess ng DOJ kung ano ang kailangan for that, so far they've been managing it well (There's an improvement in the administration of the witness protection program. The DOJ is assessing what is needed for it. So far, they've been managing it well)," she said. PND (jl)
Palace to public: Check with MMDA for traffic info as infrastructure works start Monday
Malacañang on Saturday urged the public to constantly check with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for traffic advisories as work on at least two major infrastructure projects starts this coming Monday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the public can check the MMDA's social media accounts for updates on the traffic situation.
"Let us study the information carefully para ma-avoid ang magkagulo tayo, hindi tayo aware meron palang certain roads na hindi magagamit o kalahati lang ang bukas para ma-avoid natin... para at least alam natin ang pwede gawin (Let us study the information carefully to avoid confusion and inconvenience as some roads could be closed)," she said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
On Monday, work is expected to start on the Skyway 3 project and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2.
"We encourage everyone to go to either MMDA (on) Twitter (or) Facebook or online resources para maging aware sa mga alternate routes na binubuksan nila ... Sa Lunes kasi sisimulan (We encourage everyone to go to MMDA's Twitter or Facebook accounts to be aware of alternate routes. Work on the projects will start Monday)," she added.
Valte also said the alternate routes had been discussed since last year.
However, she said the MMDA's proposal for a four-day school week will still have to be studied by the Department of Education. PND (jl)
Malacanang renews commitment to tax moratorium in typhoon-affected areas
The Palace said the Bureau of Internal Revenue is ready to extend consideration to taxpayers in typhoon-ravaged areas who will be filing their ITRs this summer.
“As far as the proposal for a tax moratorium is concerned, Commissioner Henares already answered this and she said that the BIR, in those regions, will be extending the utmost accommodation to our citizens who will be filing the ITRs this coming April,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.
“Ang sabi ni Commissioner Henares kung ano lang ‘yung meron sila, ‘yon ang ibigay nila; kung ano lang ang talagang natira and they will be extending the utmost consideration,” she told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
With regards to the issuance of business permits, the Palace will leave that to the local government units whether they will choose to issue a moratorium or not, she said.
There is a proposal in Congress calling for a two-year tax moratorium so that devastated areas could immediately recover from the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
Some businesses are also finding a hard time propping up their operations due to the severity of the typhoon damage.
Valte also said that hopefully, business operations will pick up in the next few months as the government continues its relief and rehabilitation works.
“Hindi pa rin naman tumitigil ang DSWD in providing relief for those who still need it kahit meron nang mga iba ibang programa para makatulong sa kanila, patuloy pa rin naman ‘yon. And hopefully, it will pick up in the coming months,” she said. PND (as)