Government prepared to address effects of El Nino, says Coloma
Malacanang said the government has contingency measures to address El Nino phenomenon that may hit the country this year, a Palace official said on Saturday.
In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the national government has a contingency plan in place to address the changing climate which is the current reality.
For instance, he said that one of the pillars of the Philippine Development Plan is climate change adaptation and mitigation and this includes government’s response on El Nino and La Nina, he said.
The Aquino government acknowledges that climate change is now a global reality and nations must prepare for it, the Palace official said.
“Kaya po noon pang Enero, noong nag-meeting ang Gabinete, nagpahayag ang Pangulo na kinakailangang paghandaan ang ano mang senaryo na dadating sa atin kung ito man ay El Niño o La Niña,” he said.
“Pansinin natin na galing tayo sa panahon ng kalamidad, na karamihan ay mga malalakas na bagyo at malawakang pagbaha, at maging storm surge ang ating naranasan.”
Now that the weather bureau sees the possibility of El Nino hitting the country, Coloma said the government is doing everything to mitigate its effect especially in the agriculture sector.
Such mitigation measure is incorporated in different programs of concerned agencies and the national budget as well has an allocation for addressing the impacts of climate change, which is in line with priorities of the Philippine Development Plan, he said.
“Mayroon pong bahagi doon, ‘yung part three, na patungkol lang mismo sa climate change mitigation and adaptation, at nakalatag po diyan lahat ng mga programa ng lahat ng kagawaran at national government agencies na patungkol sa bagay na ‘yan,” Coloma said.
“Kaya makatitiyak po tayo na mayroon na pong mga nakalatag na programa na ang iba doon ay naumpisahan nang ipatupad sapagkat bahagi ito ng programa de gobyerno ng Aquino administration.” PND (as)
Aquino government remains determined in solving media killings, says Coloma
The Aquino government has not wavered in going after those behind media killings to give justice to the victims and their families, a Malacanang official said.
It was reported that in the latest Global Impunity Index released last month by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Philippines belongs to three nations with a continuing culture of impunity with regards to attacks on media personalities.
But in a radio interview on Saturday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said that one reason for the high number of unsolved media killings is the big number of journalists killed in the Maguindanao massacre in 2009.
Coloma told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that the Global Impunity Index based its ranking from cases on media killings that remain unsolved.
“At madali naman pong matuntun kung bakit po mataas ‘yung bilang ng hindi pa naso-solve na krimen na kinasangkutan ng mga mamahayag sa ating bansa dahil doon lamang po sa iisang kaso ng Maguindanao massacre na naganap noong November 2009, ay mahigit limampu na kaagad pong katao ‘yung pinag-uusapan na nagbuwis po ng buhay dahil sa tinatawag na impunity laban sa mga mamamahayag,” Coloma explained.
While the cases against the perpetrators of the Maguindanao massacre is ongoing, Coloma acknowledged the big challenge that lies ahead. But he said the good thing is that the government remains determined to serve justice to the victims and their families.
More than 100 people have so far been implicated in the case, which has been ongoing for around three years and there is still no resolution, according to Coloma.
“Ganoon pa man, determinado naman po ang ating pamahalaan na tukuyin ang mga kasong ito at patuloy pa ring hinahanapan ng solusyon at ng katarungan,” he said assuring the public about the government’s continuing efforts.
In the last Labor Day dialogue with the labor sector of President Aquino, extra judicial killings was tackled, and Coloma said that aside from going after the perpetrators, the administration is also pushing for reforms in the country’s justice system to speed up litigation of cases.
Aside from the cases in connection to killing of journalists, the government is also paying extra attention to solve the murders of labor leaders in the country. PND (as)
Palace hopes lawmakers address PNR concerns
The Palace said it hopes lawmakers will act immediately to enact a law that will give a new life to the Philippine National Railways (PNR) as its charter expires soon.
It is feared that with the lack of a new charter, the services of the PNR may be disrupted.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said they know Congress is scheduled to discuss the issue so that the PNR could have a new charter.
“Batid po natin ay nakatakda namang talakayin ito ng ating Kongreso sapagkat katulad ng nabanggit ninyo ay patapos na ang kasalukuyang corporate life ng PNR, at kinakailangang magkaroon ng panibagong buhay ito,” he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.
The Palace official acknowledged the contribution of the PNR to the country, especially to the national economy. The PNR has been operating for many decades, providing a fundamental transportation service to Filipinos from Ilocos to the Bicol region, he said.
The railway service has also carried out an extensive modernization program in recent months, acquiring new coaches and improving its line. As a result, its ridership increased, Coloma said.
“Ang akin pong tingin diyan, hindi naman po pababayaan ng ating mga mambabatas at ng ating mga pambansang lider na maputol ang serbisyo ng Philippine National Railways,” he said.
“Tiyak kong makakahanap ng mainam na paraan, na ang dulo po noon ay hindi mapapatid o hindi magkakaroon ng seryosong pag-antala o pagputol sa serbisyo ng Philippine National Railways,” he added. PND (as)