Sunday, 22 June 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

President Aquino to visit Japan next week

President Benigno S. Aquino III will visit Japan on Tuesday (June 24) to deliver a keynote address at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) International Conference in Hiroshima at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, MalacaƱang said.
Before heading to Hiroshima, President Aquino will also hold a summit meeting over lunch with Prime Minister Abe in the latter's official residence.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said Tuesday that details on the agenda of the meeting between the two heads of states will be released by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in accordance with diplomatic practice.

“We will have to await the statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs because matters like this are made known to the public on the mutual consent of both parties,” Coloma told reporters.

President Aquino will immediately return to Manila after his speaking engagement in Hiroshima.

The forthcoming trip will be President Aquino’s fifth visit to Japan since his election in 2010.

President Aquino previously visited Japan to attend the 18th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (Yokohama, 2010); hold a one-on-one meeting with Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim (Narita, 2011); make an official visit (Tokyo/Sendai, 2011); and grace the 40th ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit (Tokyo, 2013). PND (hdc)

Government deploys rolling stores, keeps an eye on hoarders to stabilize prices of commodities

In an effort to stabilize the prices of basic commodities, the government has deployed rolling stores to sell rice, garlic and ginger and is keeping suspected hoarders under surveillance, a Palace official said Tuesday.

“The government is exerting all efforts to ensure a stable supply of rice, garlic and ginger. Surveillance is being carried out to discourage hoarding and other practices that could lead to artificial shortage. Rolling stores have been deployed to sell these commodities,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. told reporters during a press briefing.

Coloma said the National Price Council, led by Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, is closely monitoring the movement of prices of rice, garlic and ginger.

“While there are no suggested retail prices (SRPs) for these commodities, the National Price Coordinating Council may prescribe indicative prices, if needed,” he said, adding that SRPs only apply to manufactured goods.

Asked if the Department of Agriculture has met its target to ensure rice sufficiency, he said, “Hindi natamo nang ganap ‘yung rice sufficiency objectives. Pero ‘yung level of attainment ay mataas naman dahil lampas sa 90 percent.” PND (ag)

Government to increase police visibility, enforce gun-control measures to address criminality: Palace

Malacanang said Tuesday that the government will address criminality by increasing police visibility and strictly enforcing gun-control measures.

“We note the directives issued at a Command Conference yesterday (Monday, June 16) by the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to increase police visibility through intensified patrols and checkpoints, stricter enforcement of gun-control measures, neutralization of guns-for-hire and implementation of search warrants for loose firearms,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing.

Coloma noted that increased police visibility, through patrols and setting up of checkpoints, would deter criminals, especially if coupled with “heightened citizen vigilance”.

To improve the ideal police-to-population ratio, he said PNP Chief, Director General Allan Purisima, has ordered the fast-tracking of the processing of applications to fill up 18,568 vacancies for Police Officers and 13,000 positions for Non-uniformed Personnel, as authorized by the National Police Commission.

The hiring of additional police officers will improve the ratio to one police officer for every 579 citizens from the present ratio of 1:675, he added.

Coloma also cited the Quezon City Police Department’s effort to set up mobile police desks in strategic points to give citizens easy access to police assistance.

He further said that in Pangasinan, the PNP has created a task force to oversee anti-criminality operations and neutralize guns-for-hire.

“Another important move taken by the PNP is the stricter enforcement of gun control pursuant to its duty as the chief implementing agency for Republic Act No. Republic Act No. 10591 or the “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act”, passed in 2013,” Coloma added.

Before the May 2013 elections, the PNP conducted Oplan Katok, a nationwide door-to-door campaign to verify ownership of registered firearms.

“This was also aimed at neutralizing partisan armed groups or private armies. The successful conduct of this campaign resulted in a significantly lower incidence of election-related violence, especially in known hotspots,” Coloma explained. PND (ag)