Tuesday, 1 April 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Thursday, March 20, 2014

President Aquino recognizes five organizations for performance excellence

President Benigno Aquino III led the conferment ceremonies of the 16th Philippine Quality Award (PQA) where five organizations received recognitions for performance excellence held at Rizal Hall, Malacanan, Palace on Thursday.

In his speech, President Aquino underscored the importance of quality in performance and setting high standards in services in both government and private agencies.

“Merely good enough is not enough. With the advent of new, scientific discoveries in almost every possible field of expertise, there are very few excuses left for substandard work, and it is up to all of us—whether in the public or private sector—to usher in an era of precision, of heightened standards for every possible product and service,” the President said.

While recognizing the achievements and competence of each awardee, the President likewise challenged them to strive harder and “play an even greater role in continuing empowerment, progress and prosperity of the Filipino people.”

“Let us reinforce the culture of quality and competence that has taken root in the Philippines. If we continue working together—whichever sector we may be in—we can ingrain a culture that shuns mediocrity, and consistently pursues excellence. We can build on our successes as one country, and complete our turnaround into a society of inclusiveness and opportunity,” he said.

The five organizations that received Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management award were: Philippine Information Agency headed by Secretary Herminio Coloma; Department of Science and Technology Region XI headed by Dr. Anthony Sales; Lyceum of the Philippine University headed by Atty. Roberto P. Laurel; Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation headed by Dr. Rosita L. Navarro; and Zamboanga Polymedic Hospital (Ciudad Medical Zamboanga) headed by Mr. Erwin G. To.

The Philippine Quality Award is the highest level of national recognition for the exemplary organization performance. It is the country’s counterpart to the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the United States and other quality award system in 88 countries around the world.

PQA was established in 1997, through Executive Order 448 and was institutionalized through Republic Act 9013 also known as the Philippine Quality Award on February 28, 2001. The PQA sets the standard of excellence to help organizations achieve world-class performance.

The Department of Trade and Industry is the award manager of the PQA.

PQA recipients are expected to share exceptional management practices as benchmarks with other organizations that are aiming for performance excellence. PND (jb)

Government upgrading portal to enhance transparency on foreign donations

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda met the members of the diplomatic community Thursday for the upgrade of the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH), a government portal established to track donations from foreign countries intended for Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation.

In a press briefing at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Lacierda said the government wants to update the website to easily track the donations being given by foreign donors and also know the recipients of the assistance.

The government wants everything to be transparent with regards to help coming from donors abroad, Lacierda said.

The government not only tracks foreign assistance but also ensures accountability on how the money has been converted to and what entities receive the support, he said.

“It calls for transparent accountability on our part which we are committed to do. It now calls for accountability on the part of other aid organizations. All for the purpose of informing a number of audiences here, we want to make sure that foreign governments …that their donations are fairly reported,” Lacierda said.

“We also want to make sure that the people are informed where the donations are going.”

The Commission on Audit (COA) is also a part of FAiTH, and will be auditing donations being extended to the government, the Palace official said.

The government launched FAiTH in November last year following the outpouring of international aid for the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

FAiTH is a groundbreaking web-based initiative that will allow the public to monitor the status of foreign assistance to the country in response to disasters and calamities.

It is an online portal of information on calamity aid and assistance—both in cash and in kind—received by the Philippines from other countries, multilateral organizations, and also those sent through Philippine embassies abroad.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the Philippine government, which previously did not have a system for tracking the use of disaster-relief funds donated by other countries and aid organizations.

FAiTH is the Aquino administration’s pioneering response to the need for transparency and accountability in the management of humanitarian aid. PND (as)