Monday, 4 August 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, August 2, 2014

Malacanang says measures in place to shield the country from Ebola virus

The Palace made an assurance on Saturday that the Department of Health has the capability to monitor possible carriers of Ebola virus that may enter the country.

In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has a standard procedure especially in monitoring airports to track people who may have the disease.

She said the DOH is on high alert to make sure that that Ebola virus could not enter the country.

The DOH has gained experience and capability from it's preparations on previous threats like the MERS-CoV, Valte said.

"At siguro dahil na rin doon sa mga naunang experience natin with other contagious viruses that we have dealt with, mas naging matibay ang mga procedure natin and of course, I’m referring to the MERS-CoV," the palace official said.

"Nagkaroon ulit ng pagsasanay. Kumbaga ang mga procedure na nasa manual lang natin dati, naisabuhay na ng DOH. In short, the DOH has had practice with it."

Right now the DOH is strictly monitoring migrant workers arriving in the country, assessing their origin, and always ready to carry out quarantine measures, especially those coming from countries with reported Ebola infections.

Asked if the President still has confidence with the DOH to handle the issue, Valte said the President trusts health officials in tackling the Ebola virus having worked with them when the threat of MERS-CoV was high.

"Alam naman po ng Pangulo na ginagawa lahat ng mga taga-DOH ang mga tamang procedures para maabatan ang pagpasok nito," she said.

Health officials have also issued advisories on the importation of exotic animals from Africa which could carry the virus, according to Valte.

The DOH has also issued an advisory to the armed forces because some of its personnel serve as peace keepers in Liberia where Ebola infection has been reported. PND (as)

Government already doing preparations for 2015 APEC Summit, says official

The government is already doing the necessary preparations for the country's hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit next year.

In an interview Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government is already building and rehabilitating infrastructures to be used during the summit.

"Ongoing ang construction natin doon sa isang venue natin na napili, iyong sa Iloilo at iyong dito naman sa Manila ay ongoing na rin ang mga rehabilitation sa isang building na kinakailangan natin to hold the concluding event of the summit," Valte said.

The venue for the leaders' summit, the business sector and the APEC CEO summit is also being prepared, she said.

The President has already chosen different venues where the meetings will be held but Valte said the details are still being finalized and the Palace will do the announcement once everything is threshed out.

At the same time, Valte said the organizing council for the summit has started capacity building workshops to ensure that departments and agencies are ready to host and receive guests from 20 member-economies of the APEC.

"So ngayon nga tini-train na natin ang ating mga departments kasi ang mga department natin mga kanya-kanyang magho-host iyan ng mga ministerial, ng mga senior officials meetings at saka mga technical working groups meeting," Valte said.

"So sinisigurado nating handa sila kapag dumating na po iyong kanilang toka."

The country hosted the World Economic Forum on East Asia last May and it will be followed by the APEC summit next year.

The Philippines's hosting the 2015 APEC summit is seen to boost investment in the country.

The country last hosted APEC summit in 1996 during the presidency of Fidel Ramos. PND (as)

Palace welcomes private sector assistance in addressing energy sector concerns

Malacanang welcomed the proposal of the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) which offered its assistance in addressing the country's energy concerns.

The FPI said it is ready to assist the government in fixing the country's problems with regards to the supply of electricity.

The organization offered to lend the government it's generating capacities to address the impending power shortage next year.

"That’s a very welcome proposal and expression of support from that particular federation and we are quite certain that Secretary Petilla and the rest of DOE will be coordinating with them to see what they can do to help, now that they’ve expressed na handa po silang tumulong," Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

With regards to proposals to use renewable energy to solve the country's energy woes, Valte said those are all good suggestions but the concern is cost in carrying out such projects.

Although the use of solar energy as well as wind power is gaining traction, Valte said such sources of renewable energy is too costly for companies and ordinary consumers.

Hydroelectric power plants and coal powered plants are still the preferred sources of power because these are cheaper, she said.

In his state of the nation address (SONA) this week, President Aquino said he has instructed Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to coordinate with Congress, power generators, consumers and other stakeholders to address the concerns in the energy sector.

Petilla announced recently that the country may experience shortage in the supply of energy in the summer of 2015. PND (as)