Friday, 9 May 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, April 26, 2014

Palace joins Catholic world in celebrating the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII

Malacanang said it joins the Catholic world in celebrating the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. The Philippines is the only Catholic nation in Asia.

“We join the Catholic world and all people of goodwill as Pope Francis proclaims the sainthood of Popes John XXIII, who opened the windows of the Church to the modern era; and John Paul II, who proclaimed the Gospel so fearlessly to tyrants and embraced the world,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

“We continue to pay tribute to Pope John XXIII creating the first Filipino cardinal, who was Rufino Cardinal Santos; and John Paul II whose 1981 visit precipitated the official end of Martial Law, and whose World Youth Day visit was unforgettable in a world of anxiety where pastoral example gives comfort to the faithful and inspires dignified discourse among all peoples,” she added.

The late Pope John Paul II has a special place in the hearts of Filipinos, who visited the country twice during his papacy, according to Valte.

The late Pope John Paul II, who served as Pontiff from 1978 to 2005, visited the Philippines twice—in February 1981, when he beatified the first Filipino martyr, Lorenzo Ruiz, and in January 1995, when an estimated four million Filipinos attended the Mass he celebrated at the close of World Youth Day.

His first visit to the country was in 1976, as Kraków Archbishop Karol Cardinal Wojtyla.

On Sunday, the Roman Catholic Church is set for major celebrations around the world to mark the canonization of popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

Pope Francis announced in September that the double canonization would take place the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy.

Officials from Rome said that expect three millions visitors to the city during Easter celebrations and the upcoming canonization ceremony. PND (as)

Palace announces opening of Open Data Philippines Task Force hackathon series

The Palace announced the opening of Open Data Philippines Task Force’s second series of hackathons aimed at utilizing government disaster data to help communities prepare and respond to natural disasters.

The Open Data Philippines Task Force’s second Open Data (Philippines) or ODP hackathon is entitled, “Readysaster: Hack for Resilience,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.

The hackathon series will take place on May 10 to 11, Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan. The first Open Data Hackathon, Kabantay ng Bayan, endeavored to develop applications in support of budget transparency.

Registration for Readysaster officially opened at noon Saturday, Valte said as she encouraged all developers, designers, and other interested parties to participate.

More details, as well as the registration form, can be accessed at, according to Valte.
The Readysaster hackathon is the Open Data Philippines’ participation in a weeklong series of events that share a theme of harnessing knowledge, technology, and innovation in building a more resilient Philippines.

Readysaster was organized in collaboration with Code for Resilience, the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and Project NOAH, and was made possible through partnerships with Smart Developer Network, Microsoft Philippines, Google Developer Group, and, as well as the support of Smart Bro, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Mozilla Philippines, and Palet Express, the Palace official said.

Another event, the 1st Philippine Tech Camp: Disaster Risk Reduction and Response for Resilience, will be held on May 5-6. The event is organized by the US Department of State and USAID, as well as the UN World Food Programme, Valte said.

According to Valte, the events in May 5-11 will complement each other, with both displaying a shared commitment to explore all avenues in providing solutions to the risks and dangers posed by calamities.

“As always, we are grateful for the continued support and solidarity of our partners and friends in the international community—not only in the immediate responses needed after Yolanda struck the country, but even today, in continuing to empower the Filipino people through community resilience and disaster preparedness,” she said. PND (as)