Sunday, 13 July 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

President Aquino praises PAF members' professionalism, dedication during anniversary celebration

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the celebration of the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in Pampanga, recognizing the professionalism and dedication to service of its uniformed men and women.

In his message during the event that was held in Clark Air Base in Pampanga on Tuesday, the President said the reforms and modernization initiatives in the Air Force have been made possible by the support of the PAF leadership.

At the same time, he praised the PAF for its role in the government’s response during such challenges as the Zamboanga siege and the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda last year.

"Ito po mismo ang ipinagdiriwang natin ngayong anibersaryo ng Philippine Air Force: ang propesyunalismo, katapangan, at katatagang nagsilbi ninyong sandigan upang itaguyod ang ating pambansang dangal," the President said in his message.

"Ito ang mga prinsipyong kinikilala natin sa bawat unit, piloto, at kawani na ating pinaparangalan ngayong umaga, at sa iba pang lingkod-bayang katuwang sa ating agenda ng reporma."

The President extended his gratitude to the members of the Air Force, urging them to keep up the good work.

He said that as commander in chief, he is proud to become a leader of a nation that does what is right and is always ready for any challenge.

He reported that in the past four years, the PAF has been able to aggressively push its modernization program.

Currently, the PAF has three functioning C-130 cargo planes and has acquired 18 basic trainer aircrafts.

It has also acquired Sokol combat utility helicopters and 20 upgraded MD-520 MG helicopters, has received four UH-1 helicopters, and is awaiting the delivery of 17 more UH-1 helicopters this year.

The government also targets to buy eight combat utility helicopters, two long-range patrol aircraft, six close-air support aircraft, radar systems, and other equipment that will help the capabilities of PAF personnel, the President said.

Next year, he said, the PAF will receive the first two of 12 FA-50 lead-in fighter trainer jets from South Korea that will help patrol the country's air space.

The government eyes full delivery of the fighter jets from South Korea in 2017, he added. PND (as)

President Aquino calls on frat leaders to stop hazing in their ranks

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday appealed to leaders of fraternities to stop hazing among their ranks.

“I would like to call upon all the elders of these various fraternities, even if you had to undergo the same, isn’t it about time that you became more active in making sure that this hazing stops?" the President noted during an interview on the sidelines of the celebration of the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at Air Force City, Clark Air Base, in Angeles, Pampanga.

The President was referring to the recent death of Guillo Cesar Servando, a De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde sophomore, reportedly as a result of hazing.

He said he could not comprehend the logic behind hazing.

“To inflict such harm on people you will call brothers really escapes any logic that I can fathom,” he said.

He noted that an anti-hazing law is “already in the books” but something is lacking in terms of “enforcement that prevents us from exercising the full penalties embodied in that law.”

“I will consult with our legal experts and also the law enforcement side, as to what more can extensively be done,” said the President. PND (ag)

President Aquino says he wants to leave a legacy of good government

President Benigno S. Aquino III said he wants to leave a legacy of a reformed government that can serve as a role model for other leaders to emulate.

"If there is a singular legacy that I am leaving and sana, masanay ang kababayan natin na ito ang kaya ng gobyernong pinapatakbo nang matino," the President said in an interview in Clark Air Base, Pampanga, during the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The President was asked by reporters if he is confident of leaving a good legacy when he steps down from office in 2016.

He said he expects his successor to follow the template that he will be leaving behind, pick up the government platform, and sustain the momentum.

"Kung kami ang nagtanim, iba ang mag-aani, okay iyon; pero mas mataas na iyong antas na pagmumulan niya, kaya siguro naman pwedeng asahan ng taumbayan na mas malayo pa ang mararating niya," he added.

Asked about his thoughts on reaching his fourth year in office and the things he wants to accomplish in the next two years, the President said he believes his administration has accomplished a lot in addressing the needs of the country, particularly in education, infrastructure, and in defense and security.

For instance, the government last year was able to address the 66,800 classroom backlog, just in time for the implementation of the K to12 program, which will need more classrooms, teachers, and desks, he said.

In terms of infrastructure, he promised one operational connector for the NLEX and SLEX before he steps down in 2016.

He noted that the Laguindingan Airport in Mindanao will have night flying capabilities.

He also mentioned the reforms in the PAF and its ongoing modernization program.

The PAF expects more deliveries of modern aircraft, such as the fighter trainer jets from South Korea, as well as cargo planes to improve its lift capability, he added. PND (as)

No decrease in commodity prices despite abundant supply shows price manipulation, says President Aquino

President Benigno S. Aquino III said that little change in the high prices of basic commodities despite an abundance of supply in markets indicates the presence of price manipulators.

“The supply (of commodities) is abundant but the price keeps on getting jacked up. So ito ang isyu. Is somebody manipulating the prices rather than ang law of supply and demand taking such an action,” he said Tuesday during an interview on the sidelines of the celebration of the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Angeles, Pampanga.

He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have deployed rolling stores to distribute commodities affected by the price increase but there has been little change in prices.

“Medyo substantial ang ina-unload on the market pero hindi daw ganun ka-substantial ang effect sa price,” he said.

The President said he has tasked the DA and the DTI to do phytosanitary testing on garlic recently confiscated by the Customs Bureau.

“If it passes, and in conformity with the law, we will unload all of this confiscated garlic to again ease the pressure on prices,” he said.

The President has also instructed the DTI to enforce the Price Act, warning that violators will face heavy fines and criminal charges.

“I understand marami-rami na rin ang mga nademanda at nahuli. I’m sorry, I don’t have the figures right here with me, pero marami-rami na rin ang sinita at pinanagot doon sa mga maling pagkilos nila,” the President added.

He also noted the rise in milk and bread prices because the country imports milk and flour.

“We will be taking steps to minimize the impact of such,” he said. PND (ag)