Wednesday, 24 September 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, September 19, 2014

President Aquino witnesses signing of agreements for operations of LRT 1

PARIS, France) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday witnessed the signing of a technical service agreement between RATP Developpement and the Light Rail Manila Consortium for the operations and maintenance of Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1.

The agreement, signed between RATP Developpement President Pierre Mongin, and Jose Ma. Lim, President and CEO of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp., at the Philippines-France Business Forum at Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Hotel, aims to provide operation and maintenance service and technical advice and expertise relating to the operations and maintenance of the Manila LRT 1 Cavite Extension, Operation and Maintenance Project.

The Light Rail Manila Consortium also signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with Bouygues Travaux Publics and Alstom Transport on Thursday for the design and construction of the Manila Light Rail Transit Line 1 Extension Project that will extend Line 1 by 12 kilometers to add eight more stations.

Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president and COO of Ayala Corporation, and Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya were also present during the signing of the two agreements. PND (co)

President Aquino invites French businessmen to take part in Phl economic 'renaissance'

(PARIS, France) President Benigno S. Aquino III invited French businessmen to explore investment opportunities in the Philippines, saying that the “country’s momentum is stronger that it has ever been in recent memory.”

Speaking before the Philippine Business Opportunities Forum here, President Aquino told France-based companies that this is the best time to invest as the Philippine economy continues to grow.

“Indeed, our country’s momentum is stronger than it has ever been in recent memory, and we will not sit idly by; we will build on this momentum,” the President told the French business community.

“I am here today to invite all of you to be part of our story—take a closer look at our country, study your prospects, and ultimately, take part in the Philippine renaissance that continues to win the admiration of the world,” he added.

President Aquino, who is on an official two-day visit to France, trumpeted economic gains and the reforms instituted by his administration before French businessmen.

“As one would expect, our good governance efforts have breathed new life into our economy. In 2013, the economy grew by 7.2 percent, making us one of the fastest growing economies in Asia,” he said.

“The business community—both domestic and international—has also noted the sea change in our country,” he said, adding that international rating organizations have also noticed the Philippines’ comeback.

President Aquino cited the investment grade status the country obtained from Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s.

Even the World Economic Forum’s yearly Global Competitiveness Report has named the Philippines as the most improved country in terms of competitiveness since 2010, he added.

With the economic reforms put in place by his administration, President Aquino said that his administration is poised to sustain the country’s momentum.

“I suppose the point of these recollections is to emphasize the reality: Yours is a matured, developed country, while ours has just been recently gaining momentum towards development,” he said.

“There is a natural synergy between our requirements and aspirations, and your strengths and capabilities. Together, let us maximize the opportunities before us, for the mutual benefit of our peoples,” he added. PND (co)

MalacaƱang suspends work in government offices

MalacaƱang on Friday suspended work in government offices in Metro Manila and 15 provinces due to heavy rains and flooding.

"Work in government offices has been suspended by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. for today (September 19), except for those agencies whose work involves the delivery of basic and health services, disaster response and other vital public services," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement.

The work suspension covers Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, including Polillo Island, Mindoro Provinces, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, and Pangasinan. PND (ag)