Friday, 9 May 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Monday, April 21, 2014

Malacañang satisfied with latest Pulse Asia survey result

The Palace on Monday expressed satisfaction with the latest result of the Pulse Asia survey showing President Benigno S. Aquino III still has maintained a high trust rating.

“We are gratified that the President continues to enjoy a high trust rating,” said Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. during a press briefing.

He said the Pulse Asia survey result has “remained statistically the same”.

“Whereas before, 74 (percent) found him to be trustworthy, there are now 69 percent that have the same assessment, and the five percent went to the undecided column, not to the ‘no trust’ column,” Coloma said.

“This is to be considered as a reminder for the national leadership to intensify its efforts to deliver the reforms that were promised, because we are aware that our people have high expectations,” he said.

Asked if Malacanang felt vindicated by the survey result insofar as criticisms on the government’s handling of last year’s natural disasters are concerned, Coloma said the administration remains open to criticisms and welcomes suggestions from all sectors of society.

“It is not our concern to be unduly worried about those who criticize us because this is an important element of the democratic dialogue. It is essential that there are people who may express dissenting views because of their sincere desire to help our country move forward and that is also appreciated,” Coloma added. PND (ag)

Manny Pacquiao pays courtesy call on President Aquino

A week after his triumphant bout against American Timothy Bradley, Jr., Filipino boxing icon Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacanang on Monday.

Wearing a white polo shirt, Pacquiao arrived at the Palace’s Music Room at 2 p.m..

Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement that the Sarangani Representative and President Aquino “exchanged pleasantries for about 40 minutes”.

He said Congressman Pacquiao promised the President that he will help in the government’s campaign to raise awareness on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) among Filipino workers based in the Middle East.

The boxing champ also agreed to convince OFWs to observe the necessary measures implemented by the Department of Health (DOH) to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Congressman Pacquiao discussed with the President his concerns on the construction of farm-to-market roads in Sarangani, which is being delayed because of attacks made by lawless elements, who have gone to the extent of burning road construction equipment,” Coloma added.

In response to the lawmaker’s concerns, the President vowed to instruct law enforcement authorities to take action on the matter, he said.

Coloma said that on the lighter side, Congressman Pacquiao conveyed to the President his excitement in welcoming the newest member of his family.

“His wife, Jinkee, who is also the incumbent Vice-Governor of Sarangani, is due to deliver the couple’s fifth child, a son, anytime this week. According to published reports, they will name him ‘Israel’,” he said.

Coloma further said that the President and Congressman Pacquiao exchanged notes on the prevailing cold weather in Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The President reminisced about his family’s winter experience during his father’s medical furlough in Boston, Massachusetts,” he said.

During the visit, Pacquiao was accompanied by members of his staff, led by Team Pacquiao’s chief of staff Jayke Joson.

Before the President entered the room, Pacquiao gamely had his picture taken with some employees and staff of Malacanang, who congratulated him on his recent fight.

On April 12 (April 13 Manila Time), Pacquiao reclaimed the World Boxing Organization’s welterweight belt from Bradley via a unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Bradley first fought in June 2012 when Bradley won via a controversial split decision vote.

Malacanang earlier joined the nation in celebrating Pacquiao’s victory, saying that his fight was a “symbol of recovery” from the disasters that battered the country last year.

The boxing champ was also described as a “national treasure” for his achievements in sports.

Pacquiao returned to the country last Friday and received a hero’s welcome from the people of Sarangani, his hometown. PND (jb)

DOH, Task Force MERS-CoV asked to intensify efforts in locating untested passengers of Etihad Airways

President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force MERS-CoV to intensify efforts in locating and contacting more than 200 passengers of the April 15 Etihad Airways flight EY0424 who have not been tested for the disease.

“As of 8 a.m. today (Monday, April 21), 173 out of 414 passengers or 42 percent have been contacted,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing.

He noted that of the 173, 100 have tested negative.

“We are awaiting the test results of the 73 other passengers,” he added.

He said the President has instructed the DOH to ensure that all the passengers undergo a free nose and throat swabbing tests for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in public hospitals or DOH-accredited medical facilities.

He reiterated the government’s call for the more than 200 passengers of Flight EY0424 to coordinate directly with the DOH through its 24-hour hotlines: 711-1001; 711-1002; 0922-884-1564; 0920-949-8419; and 0915-772-5621.

The Bureau of Quarantine’s alert bulletin for Filipinos and foreign nationals traveling to and from countries in the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates) stands.

Coloma said the government effort to locate and contact the passengers is in accordance with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) protocol in dealing with communicable or infectious diseases.

“Ang protocol kasi ng WHO hinggil dito dapat ay matunton ang lahat ng mga carrier through active surveillance and they should undergo testing, dahil may 14-day incubation period ito,” Coloma said. PND (hdc)