Thursday, 14 August 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

President Aquino confers Order of National Scientist on four academicians

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday conferred the Order of National Scientist on four academicians during a ceremony in Malacañang Palace.

The President gave recognition to Gavino C. Trono, Ph.D. (Marine Botany), Angel C. Alcala, Ph.D. (Biological Sciences), Roman C. Barba, Ph.D. (Horticulture), and Edgardo D. Gomez, Ph.D. (Marine Biology) for their outstanding contributions in their respective fields.

The four were endorsed to the President by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL).

Dr. Trono paved the way for the implementation of 45 research projects and the identification of 25 new species of marine benthic algae. He was first to report the occurrence of “ice-ice” disease among seaweeds, his field of focus.

Dr. Alcala is an advocate of marine “no-take zones”, which established marine reservation areas. He served as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from 1992 to 1995 and as chairman of the Commission on Higher Education from 1995 to 1999.

Dr. Barba pioneered the induction of flowering and fruiting of mango, which made mangoes available all year round from being a seasonal fruit.

Dr. Gomez steered the world’s first national-scale assessment of damage to coral reefs, which brought widespread concern over the status of coral reefs worldwide. His effort led to the creation of the Global Coral Reed Monitoring Network and other institutions.

Assisting the President during the ceremony were Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo and NAST PHL President William Padolina.

The Order of National Scientist is the highest recognition given by the President of the Republic of the Philippines to Filipino men or women of science who have made significant contributions in one of the different fields of science and technology.

The award was created under Presidential Decree No. 1003-A on December 16, 1976. Since 1978, the Order of National Scientist has been given to 41 Filipinos, 16 of whom are still living. PND (ag)

Palparan's capture shows government's determination to reform justice system, says official

The arrest of retired general Jovito Palparan on Tuesday shows the administration's determination to reform the justice system to ensure equal protection for everyone, a Palace official has said.

"Matibay ang determinasyon ng ating Pangulo na iharap sa hukuman at panagutin ang mga mayroong usapin sa paglabag ng mga karapatang pantao at sa paglabag ng batas," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.

Secretary Coloma was responding to questions if Palparan's arrest was a warning to perpetrators of extrajudicial killings.

He said the administration believes that good governance should also mean ensuring rule of law in the country.

"Isa rin ‘yan sa pinakamahalagang aspeto ng plataporma ng Pangulo ‘nung siya ay kumandidato sa pagka-pangulo—‘yung paggawad ng pantay-pantay na hustisya, paggawad ng katarungan sa ating bansa," he said.

While the capture of Palparan is a small victory in the country's justice system, Coloma said, the Aquino government is working hard to have an effective criminal justice system in the long term.

Ensuring the conviction of those who have violated the law is a prime consideration of the government, he said, adding that the commitment of the government to ensure the rule of law is a major step to breaking the culture of impunity in the country.

The height of the so-called culture of impunity was in 2009 when a clan of warlords allegedly carried out the Maguindanao massacre, he said.

He noted that this is the reason why the President is pushing for reforms in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Coloma also made an assurance on Tuesday that the government will continue to go after high-profile suspects who remain at large.

Among these high-profile fugitives are the Reyes brothers from Palawan and charismatic leader Ruben Ecleo. Authorities are offering rewards for their capture.

Palparan has been implicated in the 2006 kidnapping and serious illegal detention of two female students of the University of the Philippines. He went into hiding shortly after a warrant for his arrest was issued in December 2011. PND (as)

Palace satisfied with results of Makati Business Club Survey

Malacañang has expressed satisfaction over the results of the recent Makati Business Club (MBC) Executive Outlook Survey, where senior business executives surveyed by the club gave positive performance ratings to 43 out of 62 government agencies.

“Sa kabuuan ay ikinagagalak namin ang resulta nitong survey na ito,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. told reporters in a press briefing at the Palace Tuesday

The MBC Executive Outlook Survey put the Bangko Sentral ng Pilpinas (BSP) in the number one spot with a rating of 95.4 percent.

Coloma said this only shows the confidence of the business sector in the administration’s economic policies.

“Kung number one po sa kanila ang BSP, ibig sabihin mataas ang kumpiyansa nila sa kakayahan ng Bangko Sentral sa pagmamaneho ng macro-economic fundamentals ng ating bansa lalung-lalo na iyong sa monetary stability,” he said.

The other nine government agencies that made it to the top 10 were the Department of Tourism (81.6%), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (80%), Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (88%), Securities and Exchange Commission (64.6%), Department of Foreign Affairs (63%), Department of Health (61.6%), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (61.6%), Department of Finance (60%), and the Philippine Statistics Authority (58.4%).

“Kung maaalala natin ang Daylight Dialogue noong July 15, nagsalita po mismo ang tagapangulo ng Makati Business Club, si Ginoong Ramon del Rosario, na mataas ang kumpyansa nila sa ating Pangulo. Mataas ang pagturing nila sa ginagawa ng ating administrasyon hinggil sa matuwid na daan,” he added.

The survey was conducted on July 1-25, with 65 senior business executives as respondents. This comprises 8.8 percent of MBC’s 736 members. PND (ag)