Thursday, 13 March 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, March 1, 2014

President Aquino back from two-day state visit to Malaysia, cites gains

President Benigno S. Aquino III has returned from Malaysia early Saturday morning following his successful two-day state visit to Kuala Lumpur.

President Aquino, along with his official delegation, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal II at around 2:47 a.m., Saturday, onboard a chartered Philippine Airlines PR 001.

The President flew to Kuala Lumpur on February 27 at the invitation of His Majesty The Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Head of State of Malaysia, and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.

During his arrival statement, President Aquino cited the gains of his visit in Malaysia, such as the signing of the Agreement on Cultural, Arts, and Heritage Cooperation; and the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Education.

The signing of the cooperation agreements came after the President’s bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Najib.

The President said that Malaysia also expressed readiness to help the Philippines in the field of Islamic banking and finance. The two countries also agreed to boost bilateral trade, as well as defense and security cooperation.

President Aquino also thanked the Malaysian government for its support to the peace process in Mindanao, as well as for the assistance it extended to the country in the wake of super Typhoon "Yolanda."

The President and the Prime Minister also agreed on the peaceful settlement of disputes in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, in accordance with international law, President Aquino said.

During the visit, the President met with His Majesty The Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Head of State of Malaysia. He also met with the Filipino community there and shared the positive outcomes of the administration’s reforms and good governance.

“Personal po nating ibinahagi sa kanila ang positibong epekto ng ating mga reporma, at ang inaasahan nating pagpapatuloy ng pag-aarangkada ng atin pong bansa,” the President said in his arrival statement.

The President also met with Malaysian businessmen and personally invited them to invest in the country, particularly in Mindanao.

“Ngayon nga pong natatanaw na natin ang kapayapaan sa rehiyong 'yon, umaasa din tayo sa napipintong pagpasok ng marami pang mga negosyo at sa panganganak nito ng mas maraming oportunidad para sa ating mga kababayan,” he said. PND (co)

Government hopes organ donation campaign helps promote awareness

Malacanang is hoping that the recent organ donation campaign of the Department of Health would increase awareness and understanding about organ donation, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Saturday.

In an effort to promote organ donation in the Philippines, the DOH and the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing on Friday held a campaign dubbed as “Organ Donation Sign-Up Campaign: I Am a Lifeline.”

The Philippines has set a new record of having the most number of people to pledge and sign up as organ donors on Friday.

In an interview on government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Undersecretary Valte said that apart from setting world records, the government hopes that the recent campaign would promote awareness and change public misconceptions about organ donation.

“More than setting a World Record for a single site activity for organ donation, we hope that the activities undertaken by DOH will have a lasting impact in terms of raising awareness for organ donation,” Valte said.

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines recorded 3,548 individuals in one hour during the campaign, which bested the previous record set by India with 2,755 registrants on September 17 last year. PND (co)

Government to help four Filipino victims in Qatar gas explosion

Malacanang on Saturday assured that it will provide assistance to the families of the two Filipinos killed and two others injured in a gas tank explosion in a restaurant in Doha, Qatar.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in an interview on government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, expressed the government’s sympathies on the death of two Filipinos during the blast.

Undersecretary Valte said the government will assist in facilitating the repatriation of the bodies of the fatalities. She further said that help will also be provided the two other Filipinos injured in the explosion.

“Sinisigurado naman po natin na tutulong po tayo doon sa pag-repatriate nung dalawa pa nating kababayan na sinamang palad po at nasama doon sa naging pagsabog. Ini-extend din po natin ang ating pakikiramay sa kanilang mga pamilya at mga naiwan na mahal sa buhay,” she said.

Valte said that of the four Filipino victims in the blast, only one was a member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Nonetheless, the government assured assistance to the three other victims.

“Ang commitment po ng ating embassy doon ay tutulungan po ‘yung other three para naman po makakuha ng kaukulang benefits sa kanilang mga employer,” the deputy presidential spokesperson said.

Twelve people died when a gas tank exploded at a Turkish restaurant in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday. About 31 others were injured in the blast. PND (co)