Tuesday, 1 April 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Monday, March 17, 2014

President Aquino to meet different sectors this week

President Benigno S. Aquino III will meet various sectors this week to work with them find ways in speeding up national development, the Palace said Monday.

In a statement, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the President has always emphasized the role of local government units in the development of the country that’s why he is meeting with them this week.

The President will administer the oath of office for the oathtaking of the Leagues of Local Government Units and Elective Officials, and speak at the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP).

President Aquino will also lead the conferment ceremonies of the 16th Philippine Quality Awards recognizing exemplary performance of entities in the public and private sectors that have contributed to the competitiveness and productivity of the country, Lacierda said.

The Palace official said the President will also attend the Original Filipino Music Summit to meet different stakeholders in the industry and push its development, he said. PND (as)

Palace spells out benefits of increased rotational presence of US forces in PHL

Sealing an agreement for an increased rotational presence of American forces in the Philippines will bring in wide-ranging benefits for the country, a Palace official said.

The agreement, which will be buoyed on existing agreements with the US such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty, will certainly help the Philippines in terms of technology transfer and disaster response, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.

“The reason why it helps is because there’s some technology transfer, there’s knowledge sharing between the American forces and the Philippine forces when they do conduct military exercises,” Lacierda told reporters.

“It improves the quality of the Philippines’s defense in terms of preparedness. And let me also emphasize that a part of this rotational presence is now focusing on disaster preparedness and disaster reduction,” he added.

The Philippine government sees a big improvement when it comes to increased rotational presence particularly when the American military sent its assets to the Central Visayas in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.

The US sent ships, planes, helicopters and military vehicles to assist in transporting relief goods, supplies and equipment in the affected Visayas region.

A new agreement does not need ratification of the Philippine Senate because an increased rotational presence pact with the US will be built on previous agreements already ratified by the Senate.

“It is an agreement that builds upon... or to be implemented based on the provisions of the Mutual Defense Treaty, as well as the Visiting Forces Agreement. Both agreements have been ratified by the Senate,” Lacierda said.

“So in the view of the Executive branch, these are mainly provisions which implement both treaties that have already been previously ratified by the Senate.” PND (as)

Palace backs Immigration Bureau's offloading of travelers; says it’s a move to curb human trafficking

The Palace defends the Bureau of Immigration’s move of offloading passengers leaving abroad with dubious intentions saying the intetion is to protect the public from human trafficking syndicates.

“The idea behind the guidelines here is not to prevent a traveler—somebody who wants to travel with all the completed documents to be prevented from traveling,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.

“These guidelines were meant to protect our citizen’s from human trafficking, and also to let the criminal syndicates know that we know what they do. This is primarily to protect our citizens from human trafficking,” he added.

Human trafficking syndicates know how to exploit the system, he said, and the government must act to counter those illegal acts. To bring people outside the country, syndicates let undocumented Filipinos hide in plain sight by acting as tourists.

“The guidelines were set up precisely to look into some benchmarks or some points where an Immigration officer will be able to, at the very least, detect tell-tale signs of human trafficking,” he noted.

The Bureau of Immigration clarified that Filipino travelers are not required to prove financial capacity to travel as tourists or overseas workers, and their right to travel remains enshrined in the Constitution.

Offloading individuals leaving overseas is not a policy, but a consequence of the implementation of government guidelines, explained Immigration chief Siegfred Mison.

People with complete travel documents, particularly those holding authentic passports and other documents issued by a foreign country such as a tourist or working visa, are allowed to leave, Mison said.

Offloading is not a power of the immigration bureau to bar anyone from leaving the country and it is not an official government policy, according to Mison.

Mison said the guidelines were established by the bureau and the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking and approved by the Department of Justice. PND (as)

Coloma underscores truthful, complete information for effective communication

(TAGAYTAY CITY) Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. on Monday emphasized the importance of a complete, truthful and unified communications that would help the public in making responsible decisions.

Secretary Coloma talked about the Aquino administration’s communication directions during the 2014 Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Communications Planning Workshop held here in Tagaytay City.

“Naniniwala ang Pangulo na ang mahalaga sa lahat ay bigyan ng tama at sapat na impormasyon ang mga mamamayan,” the secretary told the participants of the Labor communications planning workshop.

“Kapag natanggap na nila ito, sila na mismo ang magpapasya; sila na ang magkukusang-loob na kumilos para baguhin ‘yung kanilang buhay, baguhin ang buhay ng kanilang komunidad at magbagong-tatag ng isang mas matibay na bansa,” he added.

Secretary Coloma said the government’s philosophy of an effective communication is “truth-telling, awareness-creation, and consciousness-raising.” He said the administration does not promote propaganda and censorship.

The secretary also said that the government focuses on the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, the administration’s development framework that seeks to address poverty, as well as achieve inclusive and sustainable socio-economic growth.

In communicating with the public, Coloma said that the government and its agencies should communicate a unified message. He said the media should be given timely and complete information, and they should be treated with respect and encourage professionalism.

He also cited that President Aquino speaks in the Filipino language in his speeches as he wants to reach all Filipinos not only the audience of the event venue. “Naniniwala ang Pangulo, tuwing siya ay nagsasalita, ang audience niya ay buong bansa,” he said.

The Department of Labor and Employment held a two-day communications planning workshop in Tagaytay City, which was attended by employees from the Labor Communications Office, as well as various regional offices and attached agencies. PND (co)