Tuesday, 3 June 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, May 31, 2014

Philippines joins World Health Organization observance of 'World No Tobacco Day'

The Philippines joined Saturday the observance of the World Health Organization's (WHO) “World No Tobacco Day” that seeks to promote the reduction of tobacco consumption and it's impact on public health and well-being.

"This observance heightens public awareness on the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocates the adoption of effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement on Saturday.

Coloma cited a recently published document in which WHO commended the Philippines as one of the countries in the world that successfully pushed for reforms in the government’s health agenda, by enacting a law restructuring taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law on December 20, 2012 Republic Act No. 10351, commonly known as the “Sin Tax” Reform law.

Last week, Coloma said the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), the tobacco control coalition in the ASEAN region, recognized President Aquino, as well as the Department of Health and Department of Finance for passing and implementing the Sin Tax Reform law.

"In a statement, SEATCA recognized President Aquino’s efforts in 'inspiring leadership and unwavering political will to push forward a revolutionary Sin Tax Reform law thereby putting public health before profits and ensuring tobacco control measures," the Palace official said. PND (as)

Malacanang welcomes release of two Abu Sayyaf hostages

The Palace welcomed the released of a Filipino resort worker and a Chinese tourist abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sabah, Malaysia, two months ago.

Filipino resort worker Marcelita Dayawan and Gao Hua Yuan, a Chinese national, were kidnapped in Sabah last April.

"Mainam na balita ‘yan at subject nga ito for verification, ikinalulugod po natin ang balitang tulad niyan sapagkat hindi po tayo tumitigil sa paglaban sa mga aksyon na ganyan na kriminalidad at nakakaapekto sa imahe ng ating bansa," President Communications Operations Office secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in an interview Saturday.

The Palace official told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan about the importance of cooperation among neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in resolving such cases.

Malaysia expressed its gratitude to the country's security forces for helping it solve the kidnapping incident.

"Ganoon nga ang ating saloobin tungkol diyan at maaari din sigurong matukoy dito ‘yung mainam na pakikipag-ugnayan ng ating bansa sa ating mga kapit-bansa tulad ng Malaysia at maging ng Indonesia sa pagreresolba ng mga ganyang usapin," he said.

These neighboring countries share coast border issues such as crimes being committed in a particular location and criminals relocating to other nations, he said, noting the necessity of close cooperation among these countries.

The two women were snatched from Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort in the town of Semporna in Sabah on April 2.

The victims were first brought by their captors to Tawi-Tawi before they escaped by boat to Sulu and reportedly handed the hostages to another Abu Sayyaf group. PND (as)

Reconstruction in typhoon Yolanda-affected areas continue to move forward, says Palace

Malacanang said government rehabilitation and reconstruction works in typhoon Yolanda devastated areas will continue even without the post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) of every province affected by the calamity.

Different clusters working on disaster rehabilitation did their final vetting on government programs to be implemented in different provinces, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said on Saturday.

Among the provinces included in the vetting list are Leyte, Cebu province, Western Samar and the city of Tacloban, Coloma said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

And while other provinces work on their respective PDNAs, the office of Secretary Panfilo Lacson, who is in charge of government's reconstruction efforts, expects the assessment to be completed by June, Coloma said.

The government is not working alone, he said, noting there are many private organizations that are doing their reconstruction initiatives in typhoon-affected areas.

"Independently, nakakatulong po ito sa pagbabalik ng ating mga pasilidad katulad ng mga munisipyo at mga public market, mga town hall, at ganoon din sa iba’t ibang aspeto ng pabahay, livelihood, at housing," Coloma said.

"Samakatuwid, hindi naman balakid ang hindi pa pagkakaroon ng kumpletong PDNA at ‘yung plano sa bawat probinsiya o lungsod dahil tinututukan naman ito at ‘yun naman pong mga evacuees ay binibigyan pa rin ng patuloy na pagsuporta ng ating Department of Social Welfare and Development," he added.

The Palace official also made an assurance that there is enough government fund for the agencies to support the ongoing reconstruction works. PND (as)

Malacanang wishes Donaire all the best as he fights South African champ

The Palace wishes Filipino Flash Nonito Donaire Jr. All the best as he battles South African champion Simpiwe Vetyeka at the Venetian Hotel in Macau Saturday night.

Donaire, who moved to featherweight division, will try to snatch Vetyeka's World Boxing Association (WBA) title.

"Kaisa po tayo ng buong sambayanan sa pag-asa at pananalangin para sa tagumpay ni Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire," Presidential Communications Operations Office secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a radio interview on Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Donaire last fought in 2013 with a ninth round stoppage of Vic Darchinyan in their 10-round non-title featherweight rematch.

As he enters the ring on Saturday, Donaire wants to erase the memory of his bitter defeat to Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux earlier last year.

Coloma also commended the Philippine Azkals for its courage when the team played during the finals of the Asian Footbal Confederation Challenge Cup held in Maldives.

And although it lost to the strong Palestinian team, the Philippine Azkals showed bravery in challenging the most talented football teams in the league, Coloma said.

"Ipinakita nila ang husay at tapang sa pakikipaglaban sa mga pinakamahuhusay na koponan sa football at itinanghal nila ang kahusayan ng mga atletang Pilipino kaya pinupuri po natin sila at umaasa na sa mga darating pang kompetisyon ay patuloy na iwawagayway ng Philippine Azkals ang bandilang Pilipino at ang karangalan ng buong bansang Pilipinas." PND (as)