Thursday, 30 October 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Monday, October 27, 2014

President Aquino confers Order of Lakandula on U.N. Resident Coordinator Luiza Carvalho

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday conferred the Order of Lakandula, with the rank of Grand Officer, on United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines Luiza Carvalho.

The President gave the award to Carvalho during her farewell call, held at the Music Room of Malacañang Palace.

Carvalho, who is also the resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was honored for strengthening and deepening the relations between the Philippines and the UN; for her outstanding and dedicated service in the field of humanitarian work, peace and development; and for being an “exceptionally worthy and competent representative” of the UN in the country.

She was also recognized for her “steadfast efforts in promoting partnerships between Philippine private and public institutions, with the end view of providing support to marginalized communities”.

The Chief Executive acknowledged her efforts in mobilizing international support to the Philippines in sectors of crisis intervention and emergency response, disaster risk reduction management, good governance, education, and social welfare and development.

Carvalho was also praised for her contribution and support to the Philippine initiatives in the domestic, regional and multilateral arena, especially in the areas of human rights, empowerment of women and peace building and conflict resolution.

Also present at the awarding ceremony were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

Carvalho was joined by her spouse and other UN officials. PND (jb)

Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team calls on President Aquino

President Benigno S. Aquino III received the members of the Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team during a courtesy call at the President’s Hall of Malacañang Palace on Monday.

Upon entering the room, President Aquino warmly greeted the Philippine Army paddlers, led by team leader and president Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc.

He shook hands with the team members, who were proudly wearing their gold medals, which they bagged during the 9th International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships held in Ravenna, Italy last September.

The team gave honor to the country for setting two world records by winning the competition’s 200- and 500-meter small boat open categories.

The members of the Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team were: steersman Technical Sergeant Franco Tinoco; paddlers Senior Sergeant Joemar Ocquiana, Sergeant Ronald Tan, Private First Class Ramie Llano, Private First Class Gerald Dela Cruz, Private First Class Hardy Pabulayan, Private First Class Cresmark Dayumat, Senior Sergeant Romy John Dionio, Senior Sergeant Usman Anterola, Senior Sergeant Salvador Sumagaysay, Sergeant Rodrigo Tanuan Jr., Private First Class Romel Donesa, Private First Class Rame Llano, and Private First Class Gil Martin Gonzales; and drummer Private First Class Jayson dela Cruz.

Also present during the courtesy call were National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang, and Army Chief Hernando Iriberri. PND (jb)

Palace acknowledges results of Social Weather Stations survey on self-rated poverty

Malacañang on Monday acknowledged the findings of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on self-rated poverty and self-rated food poverty, saying the government is focused on addressing poverty alleviation.

In a statement sent to members of the Malacañang Press Corps, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. however noted that a similar government survey showed a decline in poverty incidence.

“While we take cognizance of the slight rise in the self-rated poverty and self-rated food poverty, the government policies and programs are pursued based on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) of the Philippine Statistics Authority, which shows that poverty incidence has eased to 24.9 percent for the first semester of 2013, compared to the 27.9 percent in the same period in 2012,” Secretary Coloma said.

He said the same FIES showed a decline in the proportion of extremely poor Filipino individuals who could not afford to meet basic food requirements from 13.4 percent in 2012 to 10.7 percent in 2013.

“Nonetheless, the government shall continue to focus on intensifying programs for poverty reduction and social protection, including increasing the budget and coverage of the Conditional Cash Transfer program,” he said in the statement.

The government, he said, has earmarked the biggest portion of the proposed P2.606-trillion 2015 national budget for social services at P967.9 billion or 37.2 percent.

“The proposed budget also focuses on delivering high-impact projects in 44 provinces with high poverty magnitude where more job opportunities will be created: provinces with high poverty incidence that require adequate social safety nets and those which are vulnerable to natural calamities,” said Coloma.

The SWS survey on self-rated poverty, conducted from September 26 to 29, showed 55 percent of the 1,200 respondents nationwide considered themselves poor.

The survey said the figure, which is equivalent to an estimated 12.1 million families, is unchanged from June and three points above the 52 percent average for the four quarters of 2013. PND (ag)