Sunday, 13 July 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, July 12, 2014

Budget Department proposes P2.6 trillion budget for 2015

The budget department proposed a P2.606 trillion budget for 2015 during Friday's Cabinet meeting, 15 percent higher than the 2014 national budget, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a statement.

President Benigno S. Aquino III directed the Cabinet to fine-tune the budget assumptions and planning parameters for next year's budget, he said.

The President convened the Cabinet on Friday for a first-pass review and discussion of the 2015 national budget.

"After the meeting that lasted for more than six hours, the President directed the Cabinet to further fine-tune the budget assumptions and planning parameters so that these may be fully explained and justified at the hearings to be conducted by the Congress," Coloma said.

Another meeting may be convened before the National Expenditure Program Budget Proposal is approved and finalized, he added.

The expenditure program will be submitted to Congress after the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) late this month.

Among the key expenditures of the 2015 national budget includes Social Protection and Social Services, Job Generation and Economic Expansion, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, and Enabling Environment for Inclusive Development.

Under social protection, the administration is increasing the budget for the conditional cash transfer program from P62.6 billion to P78 billion due to increase in coverage from 4.3 million households to 5 million households based on the National Household Targeting System.

The government is also boosting the allocation for the National Health Insurance Program from P35.3 billion to P37.2 billion. The insurance coverage increases from 14.7 million to 15.4 million, Coloma said.

The 2015 budget also gives additional allocation for basic educational facilities such as classrooms, water and sanitation, from P44.6 billion to P52.7 billion.

To create more jobs, the Aquino government is allotting more money for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to build roads and bridges, an increase from P130.4 billion to P186.6 billion.

The budget for tourism infrastructure development was also increased from P14.7 billion to P20 billion, as international tourists increase from 6.8 million to 8.2 million and domestic tourists from 47.7 million to 51.7 million.

The government is also focused on addressing the impact of climate change, as it allotted more budget for DPWH's flood control and drainage projects, from P34.8 billion to P38.6 billion, according to Coloma. PND (as)

Palace wants public to conserve energy as Luzon plant carries out maintenance shutdown

The Palace asked for public cooperation Saturday in conserving energy after the Department of Energy announced the possibility of having one-hour rotating brownout due to maintenance shutdown of a power plant in Batangas.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said the brownout is due to maintenance shutdown of the Ilijan natural gas power plant in Batangas. Luzon energy users are expected to be affected by the shutdown.

"We do ask for the understanding of our citizens and their cooperation. Lalo ‘pag weekend naman po sinasabi ni Secretary Petilla na bumababa ang demand dahil mas maraming walang trabaho," Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

Valte asked for the people's cooperation and for them to take small steps to conserve energy over the weekend to help manage the demand for electricity.

While maintenance shutdowns are important, Valte said Secretary Petilla and the DOE team are on hand to make sure that they closely monitor the supply of energy in the country.

Aside from maintenance activities, the conduct of emergency maintenance on the country's power plants also causes power interruptions. PND (as)

Malacanang expects DPWH projects to ease flooding in the Metro this rainy season

The Palace asked for the public's patience as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) carries out rehabilitation works to prevent flooding in Metro Manila.

In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the DPWH wants to speed up completion of ongoing projects.

It can be observed that the DPWH has a lot of road and bridge projects in the metropolis, which according to Valte, are intended to make Metro Manila traffic and flood-free.

"Tumutulong naman po ang MMDA, ngunit minsan talagang... lalo na kapag Biyernes, umulan, talagang nagkakaroon ng traffic dito sa Metro Manila," she added.

"We ask you to bear with us and the public works -- with the repairs, the rehabilitation around Metro Manila. Eventually ‘kapag na-complete po ito ay mas makakaranas naman po tayo na maibsan ang mga pagbaha, at mas mabilis ang pagbaba ng tubig."

With regards to the increasing budget for the Climate Change Adaptation program of the government, Valte said she expects climate change advocates to welcome the government move.

In the 2015 budget, the budget department proposed a P38.6 billion budget for the DPWH's flood-control and drainage projects, higher than the P34.4 billion this year.

Anticipating the impact of disasters are equally important with dealing with the aftermath of any disaster, according to Valte, adding this is the reason why the government has increased the budget for climate change adaptation. PND (as)

Malacanang welcomes award for global tourism campaign 'it's more fun in the Philippines'

The Palace congratulated the tourism department for receiving recognition for its global tourism campaign, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines."

The Department of Tourism's promo landed third among the world’s best marketing campaigns, and the first in the Asia Pacific region, according to Warc 100, a global annual ranking of marketing campaigns based on performance, effectiveness and strategy.

The Warc 100 serves as a benchmark for commercial creativity. It ranks world’s best campaigns based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

"Congratulations to Secretary Mon Jimenez, to our fellows in the Department of Tourism as well as BBDO Guerrero for a very successful marketing campaign with 'It’s More Fun in the Philippines,'" Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

"And more than the recognition that they have received, you will see that in the increase of tourist arrivals in our country, totoo naman ang patuloy na pagtaas ng ating mga turistang bumibisita at bumabiyahe sa ating bansa."

The award is an icing on the cake for the DOT and for Secretary Jimenez, Valte said.

The palace official also mentioned the increasing budget for the DOT and for other tourism-related projects.

The current thrust is tourism convergence as the DOT, DPWH and other government agencies work together to strengthen the country's tourism sector, Valte said

For instance, the government is connecting the airports to tourist spots in the provinces.

"Ito naman ang task ng DPWH, to help DOT na siguraduhing may access ang ating mga kababayan at ang mga turista doon sa mga tourist spots natin," she said.

In the 2015 budget presented by the budget department to the Cabinet, it allotted more money for the DPWH to build roads and bridges, an increased from P130.4 billion to P186.6 billion.

The budget for tourism infrastructure development was also increased from P14.7 billion to P20 billion. PND (as)