President Aquino inaugurates 1,000 low-cost housing units for informal settlers
(ILOILO CITY) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday led the inauguration of 1,000 low-cost housing units in Jaro district for informal settlers who used to live on the banks of the Iloilo River.
President Aquino unveiled the project marker and inspected the completed low-cost housing units of the Iloilo River Plains Subdivision Phase 1, Barangay Lanit in Jaro district.
In his speech, the President said the P170 million allocation for the construction of the housing units came from the Disbursement Acceleration Program and 2011 General Appropriations Act.
“Dalawa po ang pinagmulan ng mahigit 169 milyong pisong pondo ng proyekto. Ang isandaang milyong piso po, nagmula sa ating 2011 Disbursement Acceleration Program, o DAP. Ang nalalabi namang mahigit 69 milyong piso, mula sa 2011 General Appropriations Act o GAA,” he said.
“Kongkretong patunay po ito sa pagiging epektibo ng ating sistema sa pagpopondo. Kitang-kita nga po na kapag sa tapat ginamit ang pondong mula sa buwis na pinaghirapan ng taumbayan, may kaukulan itong benepisyo sa Pilipino, at hindi napupunta lang sa bulsa ng iilang mapanlamang,” he added.
President Aquino said the NHA housing project would accomodate 1,000 informal settler families. The President added the beneficiaries would now have peace of mind and they can now sleep well in their new homes.
“Kapanatagan po ang kaakibat ng mga bagong bahay na ito. Noon po, nakatira ang mga pamilya sa paligid ng Iloilo River. Dahil sa alanganin at delikadong lokasyong ito, para bang laging nasa bingit ng peligro at kawalang-katiyakan ang mga naninirahan dito,” he said.
“Kaunting ulan at kulog lang, kakabog ang dibdib mo dahil sa posibilidad ng malakas na ulan o bagyo, ng pagtaas ng tubig sa ilog at pag-apaw nito sa komunidad. Ngayon, mas ligtas na ang inyong lokasyon at mas matibay na ang inyong mga tahanan. Hindi na po kailangang mangamba. Umulan man o umaraw, mas panatag na ang buong pamilya,” he added.
Apart from the housing units, President Aquino also inaugurated and inspected the P2.1-billion Iloilo circumferential road, the P700-million Iloilo Convention Center, and the P500-million Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue here.
“Pambihira po talaga ang nakikita nating transpormasyon ng Iloilo. At malinaw na hindi ito nangyari sa isang iglap lang. Mula ito sa masusing pagpaplano, sa kolektibong pagsusumikap, sa masinop na paggugol ng kaban ng bayan, at sa paninindigang ito ay maisasakatuparan,” he said.
“Ang susi po nito: Mulat kayo sa inyong mga kalakasan. Batid ninyo ang biyayang kaakibat ng estratehikong lokasyon ng inyong probinsya, ng inyong likas na yaman, at ng kilalang sipag at talento ng mga Ilonggo—at kitang-kita naman po na sinasagad ninyo ang potensyal ng mga positibong katangiang ito,” he added.
Also in his speech, President Aquino called on Iloilo residents to choose the next leaders wisely come election time.
"Ang hamon na lang po sa ating mga Boss sa mga darating na panahon: gamiting muli ang pagkakataong pumili ng mga tapat at karapat-dapat na mga pinuno. Ito ang magdidikta kung uurong ba tayo pabalik sa dating sistema, o susulong sa bansang mas maunlad at maginhawa," he said. PND (co)
President Aquino greets Filipino Muslims as observance of Ramadan starts Sunday
President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his warmest greetings to Muslim Filipinos for the start of the observance of Ramadan on Sunday.
"My warmest greetings to the Muslim Filipino community as you celebrate the start of the Fasting Month of Ramadan and 29th Day of Sha’aban 1435H," he said in a message read by Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.
Ramadan is a sacred period of reflection and worship, the President said noting it as an opportunity for the Muslim community to reinforce their discipline, self-control, and compassion as values that are integral to the tenets of Islam and self development.
He said he hopes Ramadan strengthens the Muslim faith and inspire Muslims to deepen their commitment to fulfilling shared vision of lasting, equitable progress.
"The Philippines continues to grow more robust as our communities make their diversity a source of strength, open themselves up to new insights, and welcome each other as one people," he said.
"May the blessed teachings of the Holy Qur’an guide you in this time of fasting and prayer, and allow you to contribute more passionately towards building a better future for our countrymen."
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting.
This annual observance, which lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sighting of the crescent moon, is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness. PND (as)
Palace welcomes statement of U.S. Ambassador regarding new Chinese map
Malacanang welcomed the statement of US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg who said China’s ten-dash line map has no basis.
"Ganyan din po ang aming paniniwala and we welcome the statement from Ambassador Goldberg," Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.
"Adding another dash to the nine-dash line does not add any whit of legitimacy to its claim and for that particular reason, we have strongly emphasized that we have pursued the arbitration case before the international court," he added.
The Philippine government is also strongly advocating the finalization of the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea, he added.
The Palace official also said the foreign affairs department is also looking into the new map released by China and mulling the filing of a new diplomatic protest.
"We will certainly support the position taken by our foreign affairs department. It is also good to note that talagang very consistent ang suporta ng ating international community rito, on our emphasis on the rule of law. And having all these arbitrated and decided on the basis of international law," he added.
China has published this week a new map of the entire country including the islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) saying the move is to “better show” its territorial claim over the region.
The new Chinese map shows China’s claim over the South China Sea by marking ten dash lines around the region just off the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.
The Philippines filed an arbitration case before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) challenging China's claim in the West Philippine Sea.
The region, believed to be rich in oil and natural gas and a vital shipping route, is becoming a flashpoint to several countries with conflicting claims in the area. PND (as)
Government remains focused on achieving growth, carrying out reforms, says official
The administration will work to achieve inclusive growth and strengthen the country's democracy and institutions in the two remaining years of President Aquino, a Palace official said on Saturday.
"Our advocacy, our belief is that we would like to have inclusive growth for all and so, we would like to make sure that as the President leaves the… after 2016, he has laid the foundation for an economy that will provide equitable growth for all," Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
The public's appreciation on the level of governance has already improved and the administration wants these reforms to take root in the bureaucracy, he said.
Filipinos today expect better from the government, he said noting that the government is always ready to serve the people.
"Despite the many issues that we have to handle on a regular basis, the Filipinos can expect that the standard of governance has risen and that they should not allow the standard to go down again," Lacierda added.
Asked about the biggest accomplishment of the Aquino administration, Lacierda said the people should better wait for the President's state-of-the-nation address (SONA).
"Hintayin na lang natin ang kanyang state-of-the-nation address. History, I believe, will judge what would be the President’s biggest achievement," he said. PND (as)