Friday, 9 May 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Thursday, April 3, 2014

Singaporean leader arrives for 4-day state visit

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam arrived in the Philippines Wednesday afternoon for a four-day state visit to the country.

President Tan was given arrival honors after he arrived at 5:45 pm at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal I Wednesday afternoon.

Among the members of the reception party include Vice President Jejomar Binay, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino and Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado.

President Tan is visiting the Philippines for the first time and his arrival in the country serves as a reciprocal visit to President Aquino’s state visit to Singapore in 2011. The two leaders are expected to discuss cooperative activities in defense, trade and investment.

On Thursday morning, President Tan will lay a wreath at the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Rizal Park. He will then proceed to Malacanang for a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III. President Aquino will tender a state luncheon in honor of the Singaporean leader.

Other schedule of President Tan will be a visit to Fort Santiago in Manila, a dinner with the Singapore community in the Philippines and a meeting with Philippine-Singapore Business Council.

President Tan will then visit on Saturday typhoon-ravaged areas in Tacloban, Leyte, and Basey, Western Samar, where he will turn over medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital. The hospital is the beneficiary of the joint rehabilitation project by the Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Singapore was the Philippines’ fourth largest trade partner last year, with total trade amounting to $8.22 billion.

President Tan will depart for Singapore Saturday evening. PND (as)

Singaporean President Tony Tan leads wreath-laying rites at Rizal Park

Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam kicked off his second day in the Philippines by offering a wreath in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Rizal Park on Thursday.

President Tan arrived at the park at about 10:30 a.m. and was joined by his wife, Mary, and his lean delegation during the ceremony.

The visiting President was received by Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras.

Following the short ceremony, President Tan proceeded to Malacañang Palace to attend a state luncheon hosted by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The two leaders are slated to discuss various issues in defense, trade and investment.

After his engagements at the Palace, President Tan will tour Fort Santiago, one of the famous historical sites in Manila.

His day will be capped off with a dinner reception with the Singaporean community at the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Taguig.

Part of the President Tan’s hectic schedule in the Philippines will be his visit to Tacloban, Leyte and Basey, Western Samar on Saturday, where he will turn over medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital, the beneficiary of the joint rehabilitation project between the Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This is President Tan’s first official visit to the Philippines through the invitation of President Aquino, who made a state visit to Singapore in 2011. PND (jb)

President Aquino welcomes President Tan of Singapore in Malacañang

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who arrived in Malacañang late Thursday morning after laying a wreath in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Rizal Park in Manila.

Upon signing the guest book, President Tan paid a courtesy call on President Aquino, where they discussed various issues of mutual concern, including trade, investment, and security.

In a statement delivered to members of the press after their meeting, President Aquino said he was pleased to host his Singaporean counterpart and his delegation, and hoped they would have a ‘truly fun’ stay in the country.

“Your visit today reaffirms the warm and cordial relationship between our two countries, and we look forward to further strengthening our ties, and moving forward as strong partners for progress who share the goal of empowering our peoples and propelling our countries and our region to even greater heights,” President Aquino said.

President Tan, for his part, thanked President Aquino and the Filipino people for the very generous hospitality extended to them during his first state visit to the Philippines. He noted that this was not his first time in the country.

“President Aquino, Mary and I look forward for a fruitful visit, where we will meet all and make new friends, and to cement the deep friendship between our two peoples,” President Tan said. PND (hdc)

President Aquino thanks Singapore for relief efforts after typhoon Yolanda

President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his gratitude to Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam for Singapore’s assistance to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda last year.

Filipinos will never forget the kindness extended by Singapore to the Philippines, he said in a speech to welcome President Malacanang on Thursday.

“Singapore was one of the first countries to reach out to the Filipino people in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan—and the assistance that their people and government gave is deeply appreciated,” President Aquino said.

Following the calamity, Singapore deployed a Civil Defense Force team to assist the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities, as well as a C-130 aircraft to support ferrying operations between Tacloban and Manila, he said.

According to the President, Singapore also donated $33,600 in emergency supplies, $96,000 in relief goods, and $160,000 as seed money for the Singapore Red Cross’ Typhoon Haiyan fund-raising drive.

Fund-raising efforts by the private sector, businesses, non-government organizations, the academe, as well as the Overseas Filipino Community in Singapore have also collected more than $10 million, the President said.

“Singapore’s generosity will indeed be remembered with gratitude,” he added.

President Aquino further noted that President Tan will visit Basey, Western Samar on Saturday to present medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital. The initiative is a joint rehabilitation project of the Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Philippine government plans to build better, stronger, and more resilient communities for the typhoon survivors, the President said, adding that the speedy rehabilitation of health service facilities in affected areas is key to these efforts.

The Singaporean leader arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday for his first state visit to the country.

His four-day official visit includes a tour of Fort Santiago in Manila, dinner with the Singaporean community, and a meeting with the Philippine-Singapore Business Council.

On Saturday, he will go to Tacloban and Basey in Western Samar for a handover ceremony of a health facility there. He will leave for Singapore Saturday evening. PND (as)

President Tan congratulates President Aquino on peace agreement with MILF

Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam congratulated President Benigno S. Aquino III and his administration on the recent signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

President Tan conveyed this during his courtesy call with President Aquino in Malacañang on Thursday.

“This is a momentous accomplishment and a testament to the leadership and efforts of President Aquino and his administration in brokering peace and stability for the Philippines and the region,” President Tan said in his speech.

The CAB was signed last March 27 by the peace panels of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Malacañang after 17 years of negotiation.

President Tan, on behalf of his countrymen, expressed his sympathy to the Filipino people due to the many lives lost when super typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan) struck the Visayan region in November last year.

“We are heartened that the spirit and resilience of the Philippine people remain strong in such devastation. We have been working with the Philippine government and stakeholders in the rehabilitation efforts,” he said.

President Tan will hand over tomorrow  the Singaporean people’s contributions to various projects aiding the thousands of families displaced by the typhoon.

He will visit on Saturday Basey, Western Samar, where he will present medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital, a joint rehabilitation project of Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

President Aquino thanked President Tan and the people of Singapore for their kindness as this bolsters the government’s plan to build better, stronger, and more resilient communities in the affected areas.

“I have always said that we Filipinos never forget the kindness extended to us by friends, and I reiterate that now, as Singapore continues to lend a helping hand,” President Aquino said. PND (hdc)

President Tan thanks Filipinos for their contribution to Singapore’s growth

Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam expressed his appreciation for the contribution of the Filipino workforce to Singapore’s economic development.

“The Filipino community in Singapore plays an irreplaceable role in our economy and society. I take this opportunity to express my appreciation for their contributions to Singapore’s growth and development,” President Tan said during a state luncheon given in his honor in Malacanang on Thursday.

As more Filipinos come to Singapore to work, the number of Singaporeans going to the Philippines is also increasing, given the country’s better business climate, he said.

The longstanding Singaporean community in the Philippines is expanding, President Tan said, noting that most Singaporeans are attracted by the Philippines’ strong growth prospects.

“Our people-to-people ties are robust. Growing air connectivity has been an important catalyst, not only for trade and business, but also tourism between our countries,” President Tan said.

The Singaporean leader also said he is delighted with the recent expansion of his country’s Air Transport Agreement with the Philippines, as this would increase the weekly air service capacity between Singapore and Manila by at least 25 percent.

With the new air pact, he said, the charming cities and beautiful beaches of the Philippines will be a quick plane ride away for Singaporeans. PND (as)

Philippines, Singapore agree on enhanced defense, security cooperation

The Philippines and Singapore agreed on a greater defense and security cooperation after President Benigno S. Aquino III and visiting Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam met in Malacanang on Thursday.

President Aquino said the enhanced defense and security cooperation includes high-level military training, and educational and intelligence exchanges between the two countries.

The Philippines has proposed the holding of a Defense Dialogue to further strengthen this cooperation, he said.

President Aquino welcomed the opportunity to host this year’s Asian Defense and Security Exhibition at the World Trade Center on July 16 to 18.

“I believe that strengthening defense and security cooperation between the Philippines and Singapore is key to maintaining regional stability,” President Aquino said.

He said they also discussed the revival of the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan, as a mechanism for expanding bilateral discussions between the two countries.

The Action Plan provides a consolidated framework for strengthening bilateral cooperation, covering trade and investments, information technology, education, culture, defense, and people-to-people exchanges, he noted.

The President said he looks forward to the implementation of initiatives in these areas, to have a positive impact on relations between the Philippines and Singapore.

He said he and his Singaporean counterpart also had a fruitful dialogue on business and trade cooperation.

The greater transparency, accountability, and integrity in the Philippines today enhance the country’s business climate, he said.

Foreign and local authorities have acknowledged the Philippines’ increased competitiveness as an investment destination and this has created an ideal environment, facilitating growing trade between the Philippines and Singapore, he said.

“We are indeed encouraged by the increasing presence of both Philippine and Singaporean companies in each other’s countries; and we believe this bodes well for the future,” the President said.

President Aquino further said they discussed the expansion of the two countries’ cooperation in infrastructure and construction, tourism facilities, information technology-business process management, shipbuilding, logistics services, and agribusiness.

The Philippines also invited Singapore to participate in the Philippines’ business sector, through the Philippines-Singapore Business Council.

President Aquino thanked his Singaporean counterpart for his government’s hospitality to the estimated 180,000 Filipinos living and working in Singapore.

The presence of Filipinos in Singapore is a vital part of the people-to-people exchanges that foster greater understanding and strengthen relations between the two countries, he said. PND (as)

President Tan commends President Aquino for exemplary economic stewardship

Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam praised President Benigno S. Aquino III for his good economic stewardship, which helped turn the Philippines into one of the strongest economies in Asia today.

“Your Excellency, over the past few years, the Philippines has made tremendous progress under your capable leadership. The Philippine economy is consistently one of the strongest in Asia,” President Tan said in his speech during the state luncheon in Malacanang on Thursday.

“Investment inflows are growing as a result of burgeoning business confidence. These resulted from your resolute commitment to enhance the level of social economic development in the Philippines,” he added.

The Singaporean leader said he is confident that with the administration’s efforts, the Philippine government will further spur growth and bring greater prosperity to the people.

A better business environment in the Philippines would mean greater collaborative opportunities for Singaporean businesses wanting to be part of the Philippines’ success story, he said.

The Philippines has had successive investment upgrades from major rating agencies under President Aquino’s leadership.

In October last year, the country obtained a rating upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service, completing the nation’s ascent to investment rank.

Fitch was the first to upgrade the Philippines in March 2013, with S&P following in May. PND (as)

President Aquino: Singapore President Tan’s visit reaffirms deep friendship between two countries

President Benigno S. Aquino III said Thursday the visit of Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam to the Philippines reaffirms the deep friendship between the two countries.

In his toast during the state luncheon in honor of the Singaporean leader, President Aquino said President Tan’s visit also serves as an opportunity to explore areas of cooperation.

“As a friend and neighbor to Singapore, the Philippines believes that development between our two countries should not only proceed in parallel, but should be hand-in-hand. After all, it is through solidarity and cooperation that we will see the achievement of vast gains for both our peoples,” he said.

President Tan met with President Aquino to discuss matters of mutual concern, including cooperations in defense, trade and investment, as well as the Filipino community in Singapore.

In his toast, President Aquino also expressed his gratitude to Singapore and its people for their solidarity with the Philippines, especially in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda.

The President assured Singapore that the Filipino people would never forget the help it extended to support the relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit areas.

“It was a time of great grief and sorrow for all Filipinos, and your assistance, along with that of the rest of the international community, eased the burden, and helped us along the path to recovery,” he said.

“I assure you. The Filipino people will never forget the support you gave us, and we will always be ready to repay your kindness,” the President added.

President Aquino also thanked Singapore for the hospitality it has extended to all the Filipinos living and working in the city-state, whom, he said, “advance our two countries’ desire for mutual progress.”

“Their work helps Singapore maintain its competitive position as a center for international trade and commerce, while their remittances serve as a significant boost to their family members here, as well as to the Philippine economy,” he said.

President Aquino also expressed his admiration for Singapore’s achievements, citing NEWater, Singapore’s reclaimed water, as a prime example of how initiative and a little ingenuity can go a long way.

“From your country’s inception, you have successfully worked to maximize the resources available to you, showing the world that great things can be and are made possible by a can-do attitude,” he said.

“Seeing your success, I believe more and more Filipinos have become more aware of the possibilities this approach can open up; and now, I am pleased to say that, like Singapore, we are beginning to fully utilize all of God’s bounties and gifts to us,” he said. PND (co)

President Aquino poses for a selfie with Ateneo Lady Eagles

President Benigno S. Aquino III enjoyed a light moment with members of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Lady Eagles as he posed with them for a selfie during the group’s courtesy call at the President’s Hall of Malacañang Palace on Thursday.

The Ateneo Lady Eagles has been in the spotlight since bagging their first-ever title during the 76th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women's volleyball league last month.

The Ateneo ladies dethroned last season’s champion and arch-rival, the De La Salle University Lady Spikers, in a three-set sweep.

Leading the Ateneo Lady Eagles were UAAP Season 76 Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez, and teammates Amy Ahomiro and Michelle Morente.

Wearing a big grin, the President willingly posed as Lady Eagles' spiker Mary Mae Tajima snapped a selfie together with her teammates.

President Aquino gave his fellow Ateneans books and pins as tokens during the courtesy call. PND (jb)