Wednesday, 23 July 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

President Aquino commemorates Apolinario Mabini's 150th birth anniversary in Batangas

(TANAUAN CITY, Batangas) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday led the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini, whose contributions strengthened the foundation of Philippine democracy.

"Si Mabini ang kumakatawan sa talino ng Pilipino—talinong ibinuhos niya sa pagpanday ng mga prinsipyo at sistemang nagbigay-hugis sa isang malayang lipunan," the President said in his speech at the Apolinario Mabini Shrine in this city.

He cited three concepts by Mabini that the present administration tries to follow.

First, Mabini highlighted the importance of following a mandate as the foundation of governance, the President said, noting that the strength of the state emanates from the people.

Looking back, he said Mabini spearheaded the conduct of the first local election in the country in August 1898.

Mabini also led the formation of the country’s first legislature in Malolos, Bulacan in 1898, he said, noting that this body elected Emilio Aguinaldo as president in January 1899 to replace the revolutionary government that declared Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

Second, Mabini instilled the concept of public service in the Filipino people's consciousness, President Aquino said.

"Ang paniniwala niya: Kung sa taumbayan nagbubukal ang kapangyarihan, dapat lang itong gamitin sa ikabubuti nila," he said.

And third, according to Mabini, public institutions were formed to serve the interests of the people, and as such, the government must not hold back in providing services to the people, he said.

"Sa harap ng Malolos Congress, idiniin ni Mabini ang pangangailangan ng ehekutibong maging mabilis, maliksi, at buo ang loob, dahil trabaho nitong matugunan ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan sa lalong madaling panahon," President Aquino said.

Pointing out that Mabini had once called on the legislators to work with the executive branch of the government in fulfilling its mandate to the people, the Chief Executive said that Mabini's concept on governance is relevant to modern times, such as in the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

While parts of the DAP were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the President said the program has benefited the people in many ways.

As Mabini said, whatever power a leader possesses, he must always bear in mind that the people's welfare is his paramount concern, President Aquino said.

With the President during Wednesday's event were Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma, Jr., Congressman Sonny Collantes, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Catapang, and Philippine National Police Chief Director General Alan Purisima. PND (as)

President Aquino cites more projects funded by DAP

(TANAUAN CITY, Batangas) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday identified more projects funded by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

In his message during the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini here, the President said the government had allotted P1.6 billion in DAP funds for TESDA programs to train 223,615 scholars, spending more than P7,000 per person.

Some 66 percent or 146,731 of the graduates are now employed, he said.

"Ang natitira pong 34 percent, tinutulungan na rin ngayon at tinutulungan pa rin ng TESDA na makahanap ng kani-kanilang mga trabaho. Lahat po sila, nakalista ang pangalan, tirahan, at telepono; bukas po ito sa lahat at puwedeng siyasatin ninuman," he said.

The public also benefited from the DREAM-LiDAR project under Project NOAH of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which received funding from the DAP, the Chief Executive said, adding that through the project, experts are now able to disseminate reliable information on weather disturbances.

This gives local government units enough time to evacuate people from danger zones, as what Albay Governor Joey Salceda did during the recent onslaught of Typhoon ‘Glenda,' the President explained, noting that, as a result, Albay posted zero casualty during the storm.

In the tourism sector, of the 202 roads that were constructed to connect priority destinations in the country to major hubs, 66 were built in 2012, using P5 billion in DAP funds, he said.

"Ang mga kalsadang ito ang maghahatid—at ang iba nga sa kanila ay naghahatid na—ng ginhawa sa mga turista. At sa kanilang pagdating, direktang nakikinabang ang mga kababayan nating umaasa sa sektor ng turismo," he said.

The President further pointed out that in July 2012, the Supreme Court posted a savings of P1.8 billion, which was meant to augment the fund for the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice.

“Ang problema lang po, nasa ilalim ng Department of Justice ang item ng ating budget para sa proyektong ito. Karugtong po nito ang ikalawa nating halimbawa. Noong taong pareho, 2012, may 100 million piso ang budget ng DOJ para sa Manila Hall of Justice. Nakatanggap po tayo ng sulat mula sa Korte Suprema, naglalaman ng isang hiling. Ipinalilipat po nila ang mga pondo para maipatayo ang mga gusaling magbabahay ng mga korte,” he said.
The High Court however withdrew the request in December 2013, when the implementation of the DAP became an issue.

President Aquino cited this as an example of cross-border transfer, or the allocation of funds from one branch of government to another.

“Ididiin ko lang po: Nang sinimulan natin ang DAP, nariyan na ang Sections 38, 39, at 49 ng ating Administrative Code. Ang ginawa nating pamamaraan ay ginawa na rin naman ng mga naunang administrasyon. At dahil nga po ginawa rin ito ng Korte Suprema, lalong tumibay ang ating paniniwala na nasa tama ang ating mga kilos,” he said.

The President reiterated that the implementation of the DAP had a lawful basis, and as such, the Executive branch has asked the Supreme Court to reassess its decision to declare parts of the program unconstitutional.

The High Court has ruled that the DAP is unconstitutional, saying the President had violated the Constitution by using or transferring funds without proper mandate from Congress. PND (as)

President Aquino issues proclamation declaring holidays for year 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued a proclamation declaring all national holidays to be observed for the year 2015.

MalacaƱang on Wednesday released a copy of Proclamation No. 831, which was signed by the President on July 17.

The proclamation listed 18 holidays, with eight long weekends to be expected next year.

Regular Holidays:
New Year’s Day - January 1 (Thursday); Maundy Thursday – April 2; Good Friday – April 3; Araw ng Kagitingan – April 9

(Thursday); Labor Day – May 1 (Friday); Independence Day – June 12 (Friday); National Heroes Day -- August 31 (last Monday of

August); Bonifacio Day –November 30 (Monday); Christmas Day – December 25 (Friday); and Rizal Day – December 30 (Wednesday)

Special (Non-Working) Days:

Chinese New Year – February 19 (Thursday); Black Saturday – April 4; Ninoy Aquino Day – August 21 (Friday); and All Saints Day – November 1 (Sunday)

Additional Special Non-Working Days:

January 2 (Friday); December 24 (Thursday); and December 31 (Thursday)

Special Holiday (for all schools):

EDSA Revolution Anniversary – February 25 (Wednesday)

Meanwhile, the proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha shall be issued after the dates have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar.

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos is tasked to inform the Office of the President on which days the two holidays will fall. PND (jb)

President Aquino appoints two new Central Bank Monetary Board members

President Benigno S. Aquino III on July 21 appointed two new members of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said Wednesday that Juan D. de Zuniga, Jr. and Valentin A. Araneta were appointed for a six-year term of office.

De Zuniga, 66, served as BSP deputy governor from 2010 to 2013; as BSP assistant governor and general counsel from 2003 to 2010; and as BSP general counsel from 2000 to 2003.

He was also vice president/executive vice president of the Bank of Commerce from 1992 to 2000. He graduated from the Far Eastern University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Meanwhile, Araneta, 65, served as president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation; and as member of the Executive Council and chairman of the Audit Committee of the International Association of Deposit Insurers.

He also worked as independent director of the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company from 2004 to 2011.

Araneta earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Ateneo de Manila University. PND (ag)