Tuesday, 16 September 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, September 13, 2014

Malacanang to coordinate closely with Congress regarding President Aquino's emergency powers

The Palace said it will coordinate closely with the members of Congress on the emergency powers wanted by the President to address the need of the energy sector.

"We will continue to work with our colleagues in the Senate and in the Lower House to make sure that everybody has a clear footing on what the President wants to do in terms of the emergency powers that he spoke of yesterday para malinaw po ang parameters nitong hinihinging emergency powers," Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.

Valte was reacting to some statements saying the Palace may not be able to get the emergency powers needed by the President because Congress has other pressing issues to attend to like the national budget and the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

It was reported that Malacanang expects to have that authority for the President by the end of September.

Some quarters were saying that there must be actual shortage in the supply of electricity before the President is granted such powers.

But Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that the President is not a person that gets spooked easily and when it comes to the concerns in the energy sector, he consults the energy secretary and other stakeholders to see the projections.

The Palace spokesperson also said that even Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla mentioned an impending energy shortage situation next year and the country must prepare for that.

A lot of the power plants run on hydropower, experts said, noting that as the summer season kicks in, the power supply will be depleted.

"So siguro mas mabuti na pong magpakasigurado tayo dahil mahirap na kapag nandiyan na ay doon pa lang gagalaw ang pamahalaan," Valte said.

Another issue on the President's emergency powers is sovereign guarantee, which became problematic in the past. Valte said that as the President asks for this kind of authority, there must be limitations.

"Just please be rest assured that the matter has been studied, and studied well, and that what the President is asking for has a very clear set of delineations and delimitations," Valte added. PND (as)

Palace assures China: We can protect your citizens

Malacanang assured the Chinese government that the Philippine government can protect its citizens whenever they travel to the country.

China warned its citizens on Friday not to travel to the Philippines after a Chinese teenager who worked in a family-run store was kidnapped.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said it was worried because of plots by criminal groups planning to attack the Chinese Embassy, Chinese companies and public venues such as shopping malls.

"The DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) has already reached out to the side of China to reiterate our commitment that their citizens will be protected here in the Philippines just like any visitor who comes to our shores," Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

Asked if she thinks the issue will strain further the relations between the Philippines and China, Valte said the Philippine-China relation is multi-faceted.

"Marami namang mukha ang ating pagkakaibigan sa bansang Tsina at hindi lang naman ‘yung isyu natin sa West Philippine Sea ang nangingibabaw sa ating pagkakaibigan," Valte said

The Philippine-China relation has engagements on several different levels and these tie up has been continuing, according to Valte.

"Siyempre, gusto nating i-assure ang ating mga kaibigan na kapag bumisita sila rito sa Pilipinas, bilang ating mga bisita, at ayon na rin sa kultura at tradisyon nating mga Pilipino, ay gagawin natin ang ating makakaya para naman maging maganda ang kanilang pagbisita rito," she said. PND (as)

President Aquino will run government while traveling abroad

President Benigno S. Aquino III will keep in touch with the members of his Cabinet although he will be traveling abroad this coming week.

There were questions why the President did not designate the Vice President to be the government caretaker while the chief executive is in overseas travel.

In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Vice President Jejomar Binay could convene Cabinet meetings should it be necessary based on an August 2010 memorandum from the President.

"The memorandum that was issued by the President from August of 2010, I think, still stands," Valte said.

The memo states that the Vice President will represent the President especially in chairing a Cabinet meeting if it is necessary, she said.

The Executive Secretary will convene such meetings in case it is needed.

"But because of the advancement of technology where you can do Skype, you can do phone calls instantaneously, you can do text messages, parang malapit pa rin po ang Pangulo and we’re always in contact with him," Valte said.

"So ang ES po ang naitatalaga ng Pangulo to run the affairs of the Office of the President."

The President leaves Saturday night for a four-nation European tour, visiting Spain, Belgium, France and Germany.

After traveling in Europe, he will proceed to the US to attend a climate summit organized by the United Nations in New York. PND (as)