Swedish King visits Laguna Jamborette, says scouting can change the world
LOS BANOS, Laguna) Visiting Swedish monarch King Carl XVI Gustaf joined thousands of boy and girl scouts here participating in the 3rd One Regional Scout Jamborette saying scouting offers a lot of possibilities to change the world. The Southern Luzon scouting event started January 22 and will continue until January 26.
During Saturday’s event, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) National Court of Honor conferred on King Carl XVI Gustaf the Mt. Makiling Award. The awarding ceremony was spearheaded by Vice President Jejomar Binay, the president of the BSP.
The king said he is deeply honored by the award conferred on him noting that what all scouts should do is to work together to change the world and make it better, he said.
“I think what you are doing here in your country is fantastic. But what we can do together not only here but also around the world to work together and that will be possible to many, many young boys and girls, to make a difference for them and to all the possibilities to start a new life,” the Swedish monarch said in a message during the awarding rites.
“And we can all do that together. And I will promise that I will continue to work for the scout movement international and in Sweden and elsewhere in the world. And I want to wish you all, everybody good luck for the future.”
King Carl XVI Gustaf, whose major advocacies is scouting, visited several areas in the scout camp site and met with scouts as they participated in the different activities and exercises.
After his event at the Philippine scouting center, the Laguna provincial government hosted a lunch for the visiting European monarch.
King Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his gratitude to Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito for supporting the conduct of the scouting event in Los Banos.
After his visit in Laguna, the Swedish king went to the Catholic Center of the Our Lady of Remedios in Malate, Manila for another scouting event. Boy and girl scouts from different high schools and colleges in Manila welcomed the king in a program for him. King Carl XVI Gustaf joined them in different activities at the center.
Showing deep interest on how scouting reformed and improved the lives of the youth in Manila, the king toured the areas near the Catholic Center to see the places where poor scouts earned their living.
On Sunday, the king will fly to Tacloban City to take part on different scouting-related activities. He is expected to join a flag-raising ceremony and the distribution of neckerchiefs and scout uniforms to patrol leaders.
He will also visit areas where scouts participate in post-typhoon rehabilitation works. The Swedish monarch will also visit the projects of the BSP in Tacloban City and other related projects supported by the Swedish government in cooperation with the United Nations in the Philippines.
King Carl XVI Gustaf arrived in the Philippines Friday for a three-day visit and will depart Sunday evening. PND (as)
Palace: President Aquino welcomes signing of last annex in peace pact with MILF
President Benigno Aquino III welcomes the signing of the final annex paving the way for a comprehensive peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Malacañang said Sunday.
Speaking on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said the President congratulated the panels of both sides for the signing of the annex in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
"Malugod na ipinaaabot ng Pangulong Aquino ang kanyang pagbati at pasasalamat sa mga kasapi ng Philippine at MILF peace panels sa paglagda sa ikaapat at panghuling annex on normalization kahapon sa Kuala Lumpur na siyang magbibigay daan sa pagbubuo ng Bangsamoro Peace Agreement (The President sends his congratulations and thanks to the Philippine government and MILF peace panels for signing the fourth and final annex on normalization in Kuala Lumpur. This will pave the way for the Bangsamoro peace agreement)," Coloma said.
He said next step now is to craft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that will be submitted to Congress. The measure will then be subjected to a plebiscite.
Coloma noted the normalization annex provides for the gradual laying down of arms by the MILF and the decommissioning of its troops.
For its part, the government will also lessen the number of military forces in Mindanao, and help the MILF neutralize private armed groups.
The government will also implement social and economic programs for MILF members, he said.
"Ang mga pagsusuko ng armas ay pangangasiwaan ng isang third party decommissioning body alinsunod sa napagkasunduan ng dalawang panig (The surrender of arms will be supervised by a third-party decommissioning body agreed upon by both sides)," Coloma pointed out.
Meanwhile, Coloma said the government panel fulfilled Aquino's instructions to make sure the pact is:
- compliant with the 1987 Constitution
- reflects the lessons government learned from past peace efforts
- in line with the political, cultural and economic principles of both sides
"Umaasa tayo na malaki ang magiging kahalagahan nito sa katahimikan ng rehiyon at ganap na kapayapaan sa Mindanao (We expect this will have a major impact on peace in Mindanao)," Coloma said. PND (jl)
Palace hopes Congress will pass Bangsamoro basic law soonest
With the last annex for a comprehensive peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front now signed, Malacañang hopes Congress will quickly pass a basic law for a proposed Bangsamoro political entity.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said Sunday the next step is to craft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and submit it to Congress.
"Umaasa tayo na sa kasalukuyang session ng Kongreso matalakay ng ganap ito para maipasa at nang maidaos ang plebisito (We hope the measure can be tackled in the present session of Congress so it can be passed soonest, and a plebiscite can be held)," Coloma said on government-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
Coloma said the government is confident both houses of Congress will act on the Bangsamoro basic law soonest.
"Umaasa tayo na bibigyan ito ng naaangkop na atensiyon ng ating mga mambabatas (We are hoping our lawmakers will give priority to this)," he said.
He added the issue has a "sense of urgency," since the aim is to not only hold a plebiscite but to elect the new officials of the Bangsamoro political entity by 2016.
The Bangsamoro entity is intended to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. PND (jl)
Palace: Freedom House report on Phl shows reforms bearing fruit
Malacañang on Sunday welcomed the results of a study by US-based non-government organization Freedom House, saying this shows reforms by the present administration to uphold basic freedoms are bearing fruit.
Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Philippines stood out among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in terms of political rights and civil liberties.
"Malugod na tinatanggap ng Pilipinas ang ulat ng Freedom House, isang pandaigdigang non-governmental organization na naka-base sa Washington, D.C. sa Estados Unidos, na sa ikaapat na sunod na taon napanatili ng ating bansa ang puwesto nito bilang isa sa 59 na bansang itinuturing na partly free sa buong mundo (The Philippines welcomes the report of Freedom House, an international NGO based in Washington D.C., for its report where the Philippines maintained a 'partly free' status)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
He noted the Philippines was tops among ASEAN member countries when it got a score of 3 in the categories of political rights and civil liberties.
Under Freedom House's rating system, a score of one meant the most free and seven meant least free. Coloma pointed out other Asian nations got a score of 4.
Coloma pointed out the Philippines' scores may also be due to the reforms the Aquino administration had adopted to uphold democracy and human rights.
"Ang resulta ng nagsabing pag-aaral o survey ay pagpapatunay lamang na nagkabunga ang mga isinagawang reporma ng pamahalaan upang mapangalagaan ang demokrasya at maitaguyod ang karapatang pangtao at kalayaan sa pagkilos ng ating mamamayan na siyang susi sa pagpapatatag ng mga pampublikong istitusyon ng isang progresibong bansa (The results of the survey showed the fruits of the reforms by government to uphold democracy and human rights, which are key to a progressive nation)," he said. PND (jl)
Palace supports tougher measures vs 'riding-in-tandem' crimes
Malacañang on Sunday said it supports tougher measures against crimes by perpetrators who ride "in-tandem" on motorcycles.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said government will keep tab on the progress of such tougher measures in Congress.
"Nais naman po nating makita yung pagsulong ng mga inisyatiba ... na makatutulong talaga sa pagtigil sa mga krimen. At batid natin na ang pangkaraniwang modus na ginagamit, lalo na sa mga walang habas na pagpapaslang, ay ‘yung paggamit ng motorsiklo ng mga assailant na riding-in-tandem (We want to see such initiatives to curb crime take off. We are aware that many recent crimes including murder involve the perpetrators riding-in-tandem on motorcycles)," he said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
Some officials had reportedly proposed the banning of people from riding motorcycles tandem-style.
Coloma said they are hopeful laws that could help prevent such crimes will be passed soonest.
"Kaya po tinututukang maigi ‘yan ng ating mga awtoridad at umaasa po tayo na kung magkakaroon ng mas mahigpit na batas maaari ring maisulong ‘yung minimithi nating pagbaba ng krimen (Our authorities are closely monitoring the progress of such measures. We hope Congress could come up with measures that will help curb such crimes)," he said. PND (jl)
Palace invites all groups to take part in Mindanao peace process
Stressing that the peace efforts in Mindanao are inclusive, Malacañang on Sunday reiterated its invitation to all concerned groups, including the Moro National Liberation Front, to take part in the peace process.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said this after the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed an annex that would lead to a peace pact.
"Ang nais po ng ating pamahalaan ay maging kalahok ang pinakamaraming stakeholders, yun pong may mga taya sa katahimikan o kapayapaan sa Mindanao. Kasama pa rin naman diyan yung ating mga kababayan na kasapi ng MNLF dahil doon sa mga naunang panahon sila ay nagsikap din na maitatag ang kapayapaan (Our government wants as many stakeholders taking part in the peace process as possible. This includes fellow Filipinos who are members of the MNLF, which in the past also fought for peace)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
On Saturday, government and MILF negotiators signed the last annex that would pave the way for a comprehensive peace agreement.
"Kung maaari po ay kasama ang pinakamaraming Pilipino na naniniwala sa mga batayang prinsipyo na atin na pong nailinaw at nabuo sa Bangsamoro Peace Agreement (If possible, we want as many Filipinos as possible to support efforts for a peace agreement)," Coloma said. PND (jl)
King Carl XVI visits projects of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in Tacloban City
TACLOBAN CITY) His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on Sunday distributed uniforms to members of the Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP) in Tacloban City during his visit here.
His Majesty arrived at Tacloban airport past 9 a.m. Sunday and was welcomed by city government officials led by Mayor Alfred Romualdez and other officials from the BSP and the United Nations.
The Swedish monarch is here to see the projects of the BSP in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), and the other projects of the Swedish Government implemented through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
King Carl XVI Gustaf was accompanied by Vice President Jejomar Binay in his visit here. Binay is also the current National President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
His Majesty is the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation and the Guest of Honor at the Invitational Peace Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in their centenary year.
King Carl XVI, along with Vice President Binay and officials from BSP and UN, visited first the San Jose National High School where he distributed Type “B” uniforms (shirt, neckerchief and pants) to the boy and girl scouts.
The Swedish monarch also interacted with the scout members.
His Majesty dropped by at the Boy Scout Rotunda for the flag ceremonies before he proceeded to San Fernando Central School for the distribution of uniforms to the scouts.
The Swedish monarch then inspected the Boy Scouts of the Philippines Leyte Building, which was also damaged by Typhoon Yolanda.
After his inspection of the BSP Leyte Building, His Majesty proceeded to the Leyte Park Hotel for lunch before flying back to Manila.
Vice President Binay said the BSP has 286,027 members in Eastern Visayas. And for Leyte alone, it has 28,564 members. In Tacloban City, it has 4,500 scout members.
King Carl XVI Gustaf arrived in the Philippines on Friday. This is the first visit of a Swedish monarch and Head of State of Sweden to the country.
His Majesty paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III, who is the country’s Chief Scout as mandated by R.A. 7278, upon his arrival in Manila on Friday. PND (co)
Swedish Monarch says 'working together' necessary for recovery
TACLOBAN CITY) His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on Sunday cited the importance of “working together” and “helping each other” to cope in every situation, particularly in a calamity, during his visit to Tacloban City, one of the areas hardest-hit by super typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan).
King Carl XVI visited Tacloban on Sunday to see the projects of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in the aftermath of Yolanda, as well as the other projects of the Swedish Government implemented through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Swedish monarch was accompanied by Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also the National President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
During his press conference here, King Carl XVI said he was saddened by the loss of lives and extensive damage brought by super typhoon Yolanda to the country.
“Everybody has to help each other in whatever condition there is,” His Majesty said.
The Swedish monarch said that anybody can do something to help the survivors of the super typhoon, which brought extensive damage and left thousands of people dead in Eastern Visayas.
“Everybody in the world, of course, knows this very tragic situation and everybody wants to do the utmost to help these poor people who have been seriously, terribly… struck by this storm,” His Majesty said.
Sweden is among the countries that have given assistance to the Philippines to help the people affected by super typhoon Yolanda in the Eastern Visayas.
“We have to do what we can do,” the Swedish monarch added. “You can’t do everything but everybody can help to do something... and that is working together, and I believe that’s where the scouts are good at.”
King Carl XVI emphasized the scouts are trained to work together as a team. His Majesty said that one of the values being taught in scouting is to “always think of your neighbor” and to help each other in every situation.
Vice President Binay said the Boy Scouts of the Philippines has 286,027 members in Eastern Visayas. For Leyte alone, BSP has 28,564 members while in Tacloban City, it has 4,500 scouts.
The Vice President, during the press conference here, also said that 276 (boys and girls) BSP members died during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda last year.
King Carl XVI is in the country for the three-day visit as he is the Guest of Honor at the Invitational Peace Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in their centenary year.
His Majesty is the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation. PND (co)