President Aquino tells Philippine Science High School graduates: We need scientists!
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the graduates of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) to dedicate a part of their lives into working towards bettering the lives their fellow Filipino brothers and sisters.
In his speech keynoting the 46th commencement exercises and 50th founding anniversary of the PSHS in Quezon City, the President said the Philippines needs more people like them – experts in the science field – to help make the country a better place for everyone.
“Ang tanong ko nga po: Sino kaya sa inyo ang gagamit ng talento upang tugunan ang mga problema ng ating bansa? Sino kaya sa inyong mga guma-graduate ngayon ang makahahanap ng solusyon sa mga problemang kinakaharap, hindi lamang ng Pilipinas, kundi ng buong sangkatauhan—mga hamon sa sakit, sa kalikasan, sa nagbabagong anyo ng pamumuhay sa mundo? Ilan kaya sa inyo ang magkakamit ng mga award, ng mga scholarship sa ibang bansa at sa ating sariling bansa; ilan kaya ang yayaman at aasenso dahil sa kaalamang natutuhan dito sa 'Pisay' (PSHS) At ilan kaya sa inyo ang pipiliing tumanaw ng utang ng loob sa ating mga Boss—sino kaya ang magiging susunod na Secretary Jun Abaya o Propesora Iye Ferrer? Ilan kaya ang maglilingkod, ilan kaya ang magbubuhos ng oras, pawis, at talino upang iangat ang antas ng pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan?,” the President said.
“Magsilbi sanang paalala ang araw na ito: Kailangan kayo ng ating bayan. Umaasa nga po ako: Sa mga susunod na panahon, bilang mga alumni na magtatagumpay sa larangan ng agham, ay maninindigan kayo para sa interes ng nakakarami. At ang pagbabagong tinatamasa natin ngayon—itong pagbabalik ng integridad sa gobyerno, itong patuloy na pag-arangkada ng ekonomiya, itong lumalawak na pagkakataon para sa ating mga kababayan—ay simula pa lang ng katuparan ng matatayog na pangarap natin para sa bansa,” he added.
He said that with everyone doing their share and pitching in, the Philippines can become great again and recognized for its talent.
“Sa ngayon, kinikilala na tayo ng mundo bilang modelo ng mabuting pamamahala; kung magpapatuloy tayo, sa inyong pakikiambag, ay kikilalanin tayo bilang ehemplo ng malawakang kaunlaran. Alam naman po natin: Ang tagumpay ng isang lahi ay nagbubukal sa kakayahan nitong tumuklas ng bagong kaalaman. Ang pag-angat ay nakakaayon, hindi sa pagpapatangay sa agos ng panahon, kundi sa pagiging pugad ng inobasyon. Gamit ang siyensya—at sa tulong ng bawat scholar ng 'Pisay' (PSHS) —mangunguna ang Pilipino,” the President said. PND (rck)
Palace says government focused on achieving inclusive growth
The Aquino administration remains focused in attaining inclusive growth in accordance with the development priorities of the government, a Malacanang official said Wednesday.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. issued the statement in response to the recent survey conducted by research group Ibon Foundation, showing that many Filipinos struggle to pay for basic goods, such as food and medicine.
“The government remains focused in achieving inclusive growth by reducing poverty and increasing social protection in accordance with the Philippine Development Plan,” Secretary Coloma said in a statement.
“Concerned government agencies are continuously monitoring the movement of prices of basic commodities, and is taking decisive steps to protect the citizens’ purchasing power, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society,” he added.
Secretary Coloma said that the Aquino administration takes cognizance of the results of Ibon’s survey from January 16 to 24 with 1,500 respondents.
During the survey period, 54.8 percent of the respondents said they had difficulty in buying enough food in the past three months, while 53 percent had difficulty in buying medicine or paying for medical treatment.
Coloma, however, noted that in the 2014 national budget, the government allotted P87.1 billion for Universal Health Care, specifically preventive healthcare services and for the health insurance coverage of 14.7 million poor and near-poor families.
In addition, he said, P79 billion was also earmarked to ensure delivery of meaningful social protection services particularly under the expanded P62.6-billion Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program.
Secretary Coloma also pointed out that the Ibon survey was conducted during the period when inflation had gone up to 4.2 percent, caused mainly by pressures exerted by global developments especially the tapering policies of the US Federal Reserve that affected the peso-dollar exchange rate.
“Our economic managers remain confident that inflation will be kept within the Development Budget Coordination Committee target ranging from three to five percent,” he said.
According to Ibon's latest survey, many Filipinos have difficulty in spending for basic goods, such as food and medicine. The survey also showed that 43 percent respondents said that they had difficulty paying for transportation expenses. PND (co)
President Aquino nixes transfer of Philippine Science High School campus
President Benigno S. Aquino III himself assured students and teachers of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) that its main campus will remain on Agham Road in Diliman, Quezon City.
President Aquino made the assurance during the 46th commencement exercises and 50th anniversary of the prestigious school on Wednesday.
“Alam kong may mga agam-agam ukol sa nababalitang paglilipat ng inyong campus. Ako na mismo ang magsasabi sa inyo: Mananatili ang'Pisay' (PSHS) sa Agham Road,” he said.
He stressed that Mayor Herbert Bautista, who was also present during the event, will be the first one to oppose the reported transfer.
“Si Mayor Herbert nga ho ang unang tututol kapag ililipat ito. ‘Di ba marami hong nag-aagawang maglagay ng campus sa kanilang mga lugar, papayag ba siyang alisin ang main campus ng Philippine Science High School sa Quezon City? Palagay ko hindi,” the President added.
The PSHS campus in Diliman was its first campus, which was established in 1964. At present, there are 13 campuses of PSHS operating nationwide. Of which, four were constructed under the Aquino administration.
President Aquino said Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo is targeting to build PSHS campuses in all 16 regions in the country by 2016. PND (jb)
Bureau of Customs making its data publicly available for greater transparency, says Palace
The Bureau of Customs starts to make public available data to ensure transparency in its transactions, the Palace said on Wednesday.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Bureau of Customs is part of the government’s Open Data task force and has started publishing new data for greater transparency.
“The one thrust of Commissioner John Sevilla is to open up all the data in the website, sa dashboard ng data.gov.ph at saka may sarili silang portal, ilalabas doon ang mga presyo, ang mga duties, kung sino ang nag-i-import,” Lacierda told reporters in a press briefing in Malacanang.
“All these for the purpose of the public to verify kung ‘yung mga Customs duties na binabayaran, for instance, specific consignees are correct.”
During the launching of the Good Governance Summit last January, when the Open Data was also launched, Commissioner Sevilla invited everyone to look into the BOC’s data and the bureau got good reception from the public, he said.
The new BOC thrust made a basis for everyone who’s interested on Customs data to visit either the Customs website or go to the Customs dashboard of data.gov.ph, Lacierda said.
The idea is to open to the public data and information to ensure transparency, he said.
“We follow the sunlight principle, ‘pag naarawan ‘yan, mas mabuti sa atin. So lahat ‘yan may plano ang Bureau of Customs na ilabas ang mga datos na hindi naman confidential ang nature. So ilalabas ‘yan for everyone to see kung tama ba ang binabayad ng mga consignees,” he added. PND (as)
Palace thanks Prime Minister Razak for his commitment to Mindanao peace
Malacanang expressed its gratitude to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for Malaysia’s assistance in facilitating the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that resulted to the scheduled signing of a final peace accord between both sides.
The Department of Foreign Affairs announced the attendance of Prime Minister Razak despite the ongoing crisis in Malaysia in connection with the missing Malaysian airliner with more than 200 passengers onboard.
“We know for a fact that Malaysia is undergoing a crisis owing to the fact of the disappearance of the Malaysian airline. Be that as it may, Malaysia is fully aware of its international commitments and we thank them that despite the difficulty that they’re encountering, that they have accepted our invitation to grace the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday.
In a press release Tuesday, the DFA said the Malaysian prime minister will witness signing of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro on Thursday in Malacanang.
Prime Minister Najib Razak will undertake a working visit to the Philippines on March 27, Thursday, upon the invitation of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the DFA said.
Prior to the signing ceremony, the prime minister will meet with the President to briefly discuss matters of mutual concern between the Philippines and Malaysia.
Malaysia has been the facilitator of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the MILF since 2001, and has hosted the talks in Kuala Lumpur. It is also the leader of the International Monitoring Team observing the government-MILF ceasefire.
In October 2012, Prime Minister Najib Razak visited the Philippines to witness the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
President Aquino met Prime Minister Najib during the Philippine leader’s state visit to Malaysia last month. PND (as)
Palace doing last minute preparations for the signing of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro Thursday
Malacanang said it is finalizing the preparations for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro at the Palace grounds on Thursday afternoon.
In a press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said a big tent will be erected at the Kalayaan grounds where the signing will take place.
“The reason for holding it there, outside of the Palace itself, is that we had to find a place within the grounds to accommodate over a thousand guests,” he told reporters.
During the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in October 2012, the event was held at the Palace’s Rizal Hall.
Lacierda said the signing will be at 4:00 p.m. Thursday and they expect the guests to start arriving around 2:00 p.m.
There will also be areas for the Muslim to say their prayers at the Kalayaan Hall in Malacanang.
Lacierda didn’t provide details about the ongoing security preparations but he said there will be a number of usherettes from different agencies who will help.
Among the agencies extending their assistance will be Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Presidential Management Staff, and the Protocol Office.
“There will also be a station where all the invited guests—some of them will be pre-cleared but there will be a station for some of the guests to undergo security check,” the Palace official said.
Officials who are expected to deliver their respective statements include Presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles and MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.
President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Adjul Razak will witness the signing. PND (as)