President Aquino reports declining crime incidence in Metro Manila
The Police has posted major gains in fighting crime and ensuring peace and order, particularly in Metro Manila, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Monday.
In his fifth State of the Nation Address, the President said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has carried out several operations to boost security and ensure public safety.
Last June, he said, the PNP implemented Operation Lambat in the National Capital Region (NCR), increasing the number of checkpoints in different areas.
"Matapos nating triplihin ang dami ng checkpoints at magsagawa ng iba't ibang operasyon, ang resulta: 862 sasakyan at 29 firearms ang nakumpiska natin. Nakapag-serve tayo ng 587 warrants of arrest, na nagresulta sa pagkakaaresto ng 410 suspects," the President said in his address.
Before Oplan Lambat was implemented from January to June, an average of 31 murder and homicide cases occurred in the NCR every week, he said.
In five weeks after the operation began, the cases of murder and homicide dropped to 22 per week, he said, adding this is a 29 percent reduction in crimes in the NCR.
And if the government could fix the police pension system, it could hire more personnel and widen the implementation of Oplan Lambat to include other areas in the country, the Chief Executive said.
The ability to procure equipment for the PNP has been affected by the Supreme Court's decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) but the government is trying to find other sources of funds to fill the needs of the police, according to the President.
At the same time, the PNP also reimplemented Oplan Katok to ensure that licensed firearms belong to those who qualify under the law, he said, noting that the PNP has checked 28,714 households in the NCR to verify whether gun owners' licenses remain valid.
The President also vowed to bring to justice the perpetrators of recent high-profile murder cases, saying the police have already arrested the killers of Mayor Ernesto Balolong in Pangasinan and the attackers of Davao City businessman Richard King.
Investigators are also following good leads to capture the killers of race car driver Ferdinand Pastor, he said.
"Huwag po kayong mag-alala: hahabulin natin ang hustisya sa kabuuan, hindi isang bahagi lamang. Kaya bukod sa mga ginawa nating pag-aresto, patuloy tayo sa paglikom ng ebidensiya laban sa iba pang suspects," he said. PND (as)
President Aquino instructs Energy Department to work with industry stakeholders to address electricity concerns
Anticipating the country's need for additional electricity, President Benigno S. Aquino III said he has instructed Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to coordinate with industry stakeholders to address the problem.
The country must prepare for the worst-case scenario, such as when power supply is threatened by the El Niño weather phenomenon, or when power plants are shut down due to breakdown or maintenance, the President said in his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday.
"Ang habol natin: kumpletong paghahanda para hindi tayo maparalisa sakaling mangyari ang worst-case scenario. Dapat, kahit sa susunod na taon pa uusbong ang problema, meron na tayong pinaplanong solusyon para dito," he said.
"Kaya nga po inatasan ko si Secretary Petilla ng DOE: Makipag-ugnayan sa Joint Congressional Power Commission, sa Energy Regulatory Commission, sa industriya, at pinakaimportante sa mga consumer, upang madagdagan ang kakayahan nating tugunan ang problema sa enerhiya."
The President assured the public that the government is doing everything to address current and future problems on power supply.
The El Niño could decrease the generation of electricity and increase power demand as well, thus, the country must prepare beforehand because building a power plant takes several years, the President said. PND (as)
President Aquino said he reformed government system to regain public trust
President Benigno S. Aquino III said during his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday that he instituted reforms in the government system to regain the people’s trust.
“Tunay nga po: Tiwala ang pundasyon ng mabuting pamamahalan… Tiwala na kung sumunod ka sa tama, makukuha mo kung ano ang dapat sa iyo. Ang pagbabalik ng tiwala ninyo... ang ibig sabihin ng reporma,” said President Aquino.
“Halimbawa: Sa Customs, na talaga naman pong sinubok ang ating pasensya noong nakaraang mga taon. Naging malinaw sa atin na Reset button ang solusyon,” he noted.
The President said he had replaced the former commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and six deputy commissioners to reform the agency.
Since the “reset” was made, there has been a 22 percent increase in the cash collection from the BOC, totaling P117 billion, the Chief Executive continued.
“Ang masasabi ko naman sa mga patuloy na rumaraket: Alam kong hindi na kayo tinatablan ng takot at kahihiyan… Ang sa akin lang: Kapag sumapat na ang nililikom na ebidensiya laban sa inyo, sa Bilibid ang susunod ninyong destino,” warned the President. PND (ag)
President Aquino says he will not sacrifice quality over speed in drafting Bangsamoro Law
President Benigno S. Aquino III has addressed the concerns of some sectors over the delay in the submission of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), saying the government does not want to sacrifice quality over speed in drafting the legislation.
In his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday, President Aquino said they are still in the process of fine-tuning certain provisions that would make the bill “reasonable, just, and acceptable” to all, hoping to complete it as soon as possible.
“Humihingi po tayo ng pang-unawa sa ating Kongreso ukol rito. Mahalaga pong maging masusi ang paghimay natin ng bawat probisyong ilalatag,” President Aquino told members of the 16th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa.
Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, head of the government’s negotiating panel with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), earlier said that delaying the submission of the BBL is better than rushing it because there are issues that still have to be discussed.
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which is tasked to draft the bill, met last week with the MILF and members of the government peace panel to work on the details of the BBL, bearing in mind President Aquino’s intention to have it passed into law within the year.
President Aquino said he would certify the bill as urgent, once it is submitted to Congress so the government could finally conduct a plebiscite that would pave the way for a Bangsamoro Transition Authority.
“Kung maisasabatas nga po ang Bangsamoro Basic Law bago matapos ang taon at maisasagawa ang kinakailangang plebesito, mabibigyan ng isa’t kalahating taon ang Bangsamoro Transition Authority para ipakita ang positibong pagbabago. Kung maaantala naman ito, natural pong iikli rin ang panahon para mapatunayan na tama nga ang landas ng kapayapaang tinatahak natin,” he said.
Drafting the BBL is the next step the Aquino administration is trying to accomplish after signing the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) with the MILF last March, en route to a peaceful Mindanao.
President Aquino said it has taken his administration a long way to bring back the trust of Muslims in the government, and he has no plan to squander it.
“Napakarami na nga po nating nararating dahil sa tiwala—at wala tayong balak basagin ang tiwalang ito. Ang gobyerno ninyo ngayon ay mayroong isang salita,” he said.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bansamoro is just the start of better things to come for Mindanao, the President said, as the government has also earmarked a P5.17-billion budget for the Department of Public Works and Highways next year to fund infrastructure projects in the south.
"Gusto po nating bigyan ng pantay na pagkakataon ang lahat ng Pilipino, kaya nga dapat may boost up, para naman maka-catch up ang ating mga kababayang nasa laylayan," he said. PND (hdc)
Palace seeks cooperation of Congress in passing proposed P2.6 trillion budget for 2015
President Benigno S. Aquino III has sought the cooperation of Congress in passing the proposed P2.6 trillion National Budget for 2015 which the Executive department will file soon.
"Sa unang araw po ng trabaho matapos ang SONA, ihahain natin sa Kongreso ang panukalang P2.606 trillion na 2015 National Budget," the President said in his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday.
The administration drew up the 2015 budget with the participation of the public and using strategies that will ensure that funds are only allocated to projects and programs that will truly benefit the people, he said.
"Umaasa po tayo sa pakikiisa ng ating mga mambabatas na pagtibayin ito, bilang pangunahing instrumento sa paglikha ng pagkakataon para sa sambayanang Pilipino," he added.
The President also said that because of the Supreme Court's decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Executive department will ask Congress for supplemental budget for 2014 to make sure that ongoing projects funded by the program are completed.
He also sought the cooperation of Congress in passing a joint resolution that will clarify definitions and issues that are the center of debates on the DAP.
"Kasabay po nito, nananawagan din tayo sa pakikiisa ng Kongreso, upang maipasa ang isang Joint Resolution na maglilinaw sa mga depinisyon at kaisipang tila pinagtatalunan pa—at iba pang mga usaping kayo lang sa lehislatura, bilang mga nagsulat ng batas, ang makakapaglinaw," he said. PND (as)
President Aquino cites infrastructure projects in the pipeline in his State of the Nation Address
President Benigno S. Aquino III has announced that the bidding process for the government’s largest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike, would start before the end of the year.
In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, President Aquino said the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project would address the flooding in coastal communities along Laguna Lake.
“Siguro po, narinig na rin ninyo ang pinakamalaki nating PPP project—ang Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike—bubuksan na rin ang bidding bago matapos ang 2014,” he said.
“Napakaraming benepisyong maidudulot nito. Una, mababawasan ang pagbaha. Ngayon po, ‘pag pumalo ng 12.5 meters ang taas ng tubig sa lawa, tiyak, babahain na ang mga komunidad sa paligid nito. Ang solusyon: dikeng may taas na higit sa 15 metro.”
The project would also clean up the waters of Laguna Lake and ease traffic congestion in the area, he added.
“Ikalawa pong pakinabang: Malilinis ang tubig sa Laguna Lake. Ang ikatlo po: Bawas ang trapiko. Sa ibabaw ng dike, magkakaroon ng expressway na babagtas sa Los Baños hanggang Taguig,” he said.
“Pag natapos ang C-6 road na kokonekta sa San Jose del Monte, may isa na naman tayong paraan upang makatawid ng Kamaynilaan nang hindi na kakailanganing dumaan sa EDSA.”
President Aquino also mentioned the projects approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board, such as the Laoag City Bypass Link Road project, the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project, and the LRT Line 1 South Extension and Line 2 East Extension.
“Maliban sa mga proyekto sa Puerto Princesa Airport, abangan na rin ninyo ang Busuanga Airport,” he said, adding that the NEDA Board has also approved the Clark Green City project in Capas, Tarlac.
“Sa mabuting pamamahala, nanunumbalik ang tiwala ng merkado, ng mundo, at ng taumbayan sa ating gobyerno. Nagbubunsod ito ng isang siklo: Dahil nakikita ang resulta ng agenda ng reporma, nakikiambag ang bawat isa sa ating mga Boss,” he said.
President Aquino said that since December 2011, his administration has awarded and signed seven PPP projects amounting to P62.6 billion, surpassing the combined six approved solicited PPP projects of the past three administrations.
“Sa apat na taon natin sa tuwid na daan, nalampasan na natin ang pinagsamang anim lamang na aprubadong solicited PPP projects mula sa nakaraang tatlong administrasyon,” he said.
He noted that a number of infrastructure projects that had been promised by the past administrations have already been completed, among them the Aluling Bridge, the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, and the Ternate-Nasugbu Road, while the construction of the Basilan Circumferential Road will soon be finished.
“Ilan lang po ito sa mga imprastrukturang wala tayong planong ipamana bilang problema; sa halip, ngayon, nagsisimula na itong mapakinabangan ng ating mga Boss,” the President said.
Citing good governance, the President said the government was able to find solutions to other problems, such as water.
He cited the approval of the Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon, the repair of the lines of Angat Dam, and the Water District Development project, under Local Water Utilities Administration.
Also in his fifth SONA, President Aquino said the government’s infrastructure budget has more than doubled from P200.3 billion in 2011 to P404.3 billion this year.
He lauded Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson for his efforts to curb corruption in the agency. “Sa pamumuno ni Secretary Babes Singson ng DPWH: Bawal ang tongpats, bawal ang bukol,” he said.
“Tinapalan na ang mga butas sa lumang sistema, at pinatag ang proseso sa ahensya. Isang simpleng halimbawa po nito ang pagtatanggal ng Letter of Intent sa bidding process,” he added.
President Aquino said the DPWH has saved P28 billion from the reforms and changes in the department, allowing it to accelerate the implementation of its next projects.
He further said that a total of 12,184 kilometers of national roads have been repaired, widened, or constructed since he assumed the presidency in 2010.
The number is equivalent to four roads that connect Laoag to Zamboanga City, he said, adding that this does not even include local farm-to-market roads or tourism roads. PND (co)
President Aquino greets Muslim community on 'Eid'l Fitr'
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday extended his warm greetings to the country’s Muslim community as it celebrates Eid'l Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
“The entire Filipino nation greets the Muslim Community in the Philippines as you celebrate Eid’l Fitr,” President Aquino said in his message posted on the government’s Official Gazette.
“Throughout our country’s narrative, Islam has taught many of our Muslim brothers and sisters the values and principles that can lead to solidarity, honor, and harmony,” he added.
President Aquino has earlier issued Proclamation No. 826 declaring July 29, Tuesday, a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid’l Fitr (Feast of Ramadan).
“May this celebration of Eid’l Fitr be a time of thanks and praise to the Almighty for the strength and hope that He has blessed your community with, especially during the month of forgiveness, Ramadan,” the President said.
“May this also be a reaffirmation of your faith as you prepare yourselves for the challenges that may arise in our rapidly shifting milieu; may you always be enlightened by the teachings of Islam that hold true to the collective conscience of the Filipino people.”
In his message, President Aquino said that the administration continues to “build a more harmonious, more just country as we begin to ease the disquiet that has long shaken our lands.”
The President cited the recent signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“The recent signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro proves that, even through all the conflicts that we have endured, we remain one nation bound by a common dream: A new era of peace that will redound to the upliftment of the lives of our kababayans. Let us sustain the gains of positive reform and be steadfast stewards of unity and development in our society,” he said. PND (co)
President Aquino: Labor strikes have decreased
President Benigno S. Aquino III said that the number of labor strikes has been limited to less than 10 per year since he assumed the presidency in 2010.
“Isa po itong positibong bunga ng itinataguyod nating Single Entry Approach o SEnA ng DOLE,” the President said during his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday.
Under the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Single Entry Approach, all labor cases must undergo a 30-day conciliation-mediation process.
“Ang maganda nga po: sa 115 notices of strike and lockout noong 2013, isa lang ang natuloy na welga,” said the President.
“Ito ang pinakamababa sa kasaysayan ng DOLE. Maraming salamat po kay (Labor) Secretary Linda Baldoz, sa pamilya ng DOLE at siyempre po sa labor at management sectors,” he said, hoping that there would be no strike this year. PND (ag)
President Aquino to submit proposed P2.6 trillion National Budget for 2015 to Congress on Wednesday
President Benigno S. Aquino III is getting ready to submit the proposed P2.6 trillion National Budget to Congress on Wednesday, a Malacañang official said Tuesday.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the President spent the Eid’l Fitr holiday reviewing his budget message to Congress.
“As he said yesterday (Monday), the proposed 2015 budget of 2.606 trillion pesos will be submitted to Congress ‘on the first working day after the SONA’, which is tomorrow (July 30),” he said in a statement.
He said the President was in Bahay Pangarap and did not take the day off following his fifth State of the Nation Address last Monday.
In his address, President Aquino asked the support of Congress for the timely passage of the 2015 National Budget.
Asked about the supplementary budget the Executive department is planning to ask from Congress, Secretary Coloma said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is working on its fundamentals.
“According to Secretary Abad, the DBM is still working on the supplementary budget proposal, in terms of compiling the reports from the various departments and agencies on which projects that were part of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) have not been obligated or completed,” he said.
“Submission of a supplementary budget is part of compliance with the Supreme Court decision, while the motion for reconsideration is still undecided,” he added.
The President announced his plan to ask Congress for a supplementary budget for 2014 after the Supreme Court declared the DAP partially unconstitutional, jeopardizing ongoing projects funded by the program. PND (jb)