President Aquino forms National Organizing Committee for Papal visit
President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed the mobilization of government resources to ensure the smooth and orderly visit of His Holiness Pope Francis in the Philippines on January 15 to 19, 2015.
In Memorandum Circular No. 72, President Aquino ordered the creation of the Papal Visit 2015-National Organizing Committee (PV-NOC) for the state visit of the Roman Pontiff to coordinate all preparations for this occasion of great significance to the Filipino people.
“As instructed by President Aquino, all heads of the different government departments, local governments as well as the private sectors are encouraged to participate and coordinate all efforts to make sure that the visit of His Holiness in our country next year will be well organized and peaceful,” Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Friday.
The PV-NOC will be chaired by the Executive Secretary and vice-chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Its members will include the Secretaries of the Departments of National Defense (DND), the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Health (DOH), Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Tourism (DOT), and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO); the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, National Police Chief, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman.
The PV-NOC is tasked to take up all government participation and responses in connection with the visit of the Pope, and ensure efficient coordination among public and private sectors, particularly with the Central Committee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP); peace and order; and the traffic management plan for the transportation of persons and goods during the event.
The Central Committee of the CBCP is at the helm of managing and coordinating all religious and civil plans and activities of the Papal Visit.
MC No. 72 likewise called for the establishment of the two local Executive Committees—EXECOM-Manila and EXECOM-Leyte—in the areas of engagement of His Holiness Pope Francis. The EXECOMs will serve as the on-site full-time, day-to-day operations arms of the PV-NOC.
The EXECOM-Manila will be led by an Undersecretary in the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES). Its members will include the Undersecretaries of the DFA, DND, DILG, DPWH, DOH, DOTC, DOT, and PCOO; Chief of the Presidential Protocol Office; representatives from the OP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and MMDA; Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager; Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander; and head of the Radio-Television Malacanang.
The EXECOM-Leyte, on the other hand, will be led by an Undersecretary in the OES with members including the Regional Director of the PNP, Commander of the AFP Central Command, Regional Directors of the DOTC and DPWH, PSG Security Task Action Group Commander-Leyte, and a representative from the Radio-Television Malacanang.
MC No. 72 shall take effect immediately and until the conclusion of the Papal Visit in January 2015. PND
Asian Games gold medalist calls on Executive Secretary Ochoa
Asian Games gold medalist Daniel Patrick Caluag met with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. in a courtesy call in Malacañang on Friday afternoon.
Caluag was accompanied by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino and head of the Philippine Cycling Federation Representative Abraham Tolentino.
Also present during the event were Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., coaches Greg Romero and Arturo Labramonte, Ronda Pilipinas Tour organizer Cris Allyson, and Christopher John Caluag.
The Palace has hailed the victory of Caluag in the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, which gave the country its first gold medal. The last time the Philippines won gold in the games was in 1974.
"We join the Filipino nation in celebrating the gold medal victory of Daniel Patrick Caluag in the BMX cycling event in the 2014 Incheon Games," Secretary Coloma said in a statement on Wednesday.
"With remarkable skill and talent, he has demonstrated the Filipinos’ courage and resiliency in global athletic competitions," he said.
Caluag, who is based in Kentucky in the United States, topped the Cycling BMX event and swept Heats 1 to 3 in a strong performance to finally give the Philippines its much-awaited gold medal.
Daniel Patrick finished the seeding run at the top of the group after clocking in at 35.489. He is .797 seconds ahead of his closest Japanese competitor.
Caluag will vie for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, as well as in the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016. PND (as)
President Aquino duty bound to fulfill mandate from the people, says official
President Benigno S. Aquino III will continue to fulfill his duties as mandated by the people and carry out reforms he has initiated since the start of his presidency, a Palace official said.
"The President is duty-bound to fulfill his mandate from the people. He remains firmly committed to pursue the reforms aimed at achieving stable and inclusive growth for the country," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement on Friday.
"These reforms have been established on the platform of good governance and have gained acceptance by the vast majority of our people, as well as recognition from the international community."
The transformation of the country from being regarded as “the sick man of Asia” to being Asia’s fastest growing economy was achieved because of the people’s support for the administration’s reform agenda, he said.
Coloma said that the government will continue to invest on improving the quality of life in the country by developing the fullest potentials of its most valuable resources: the Filipino people.
The Palace official was reacting to the statement by the National Transformation Council asking the President to step down. PND (as)