President Aquino inducts into office new members of ULAP National Executive Board
President Benigno S. Aquino III administered the oath of office to the new members of the National Executive Board of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) in a simple ceremony held at the President’s Hall of Malacañang Palace on Thursday.
In his speech, President Aquino reminded local officials to remain faithful to their mandate of serving the public with honesty and integrity.
He told the government officials to focus on coming up with long-term solutions to the problems of their constituents, rather than giving temporary assistance, citing the practice called KBL or “kasal, binyag, libing” (wedding, baptism, burial).
“How can we change the system of helping our constituents mostly during weddings, baptism and burial? I believe that we should not just give them temporary relief but what is more important is to give them assistance that will sustain their needs for a long time,” he said.
“As what the elders would say, let us teach our people to fish rather than have them keep coming back to ask for fish. A complete and comprehensive solution is the key to the change that we are all hoping for,” he added.
The President cited the strategy used by the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo in solving Naga City’s problem on informal settlers.
He said that aside from giving informal settlers permanent and decent housing, Robredo also provided them with sustainable livelihood.
“All our sacrifices in serving the public would only be meaningful if they give rise to significant changes to our countrymen, especially the needy,” he said.
The President also underscored the importance of a smooth working relationship between the national and local governments to ensure effective service to the public.
During the ceremony, ULAP president Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso “Boy” Umali, Jr. presented the group’s accomplishment report to the President.
Among the officers who took their oath were Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. as chairman; Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista as executive vice president; Mayor of Javier, Leyte Sandy Javier Jr. as vice chairman; and Manila City Vice Mayor Isko Moreno as 1st vice president.
In his opening remarks, Umali pledged the continuous support of the local government units to the reforms being implemented by the Aquino administration.
He said the Seal of Good Housekeeping has been conferred on 80 percent of the LGUs, which means that majority of the local offices are “willing and able to become transparent.”
“We want the reforms which we started together with the national government to continue. We want performance evaluations, we want open government, we want convergence with private and civil society groups, and we want leadership in the national and local levels to work closely in treading the straight path,” Umali said. PND (jb)
Palace says it gladly accepts public pulse on Charter change
The Palace said Thursday it was not surprised by a recent Pulse Asia survey, which found that a majority of the people do not want Charter change, nor do they support a term extension for the President.
In the latest Pulse Asia survey, 62 percent or a majority of the respondents asked by the research group rejected Charter change.
In a press briefing in Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said they were not surprised by the survey result and they gladly accept it.
"Tinatanggap namin ito nang mahinahon at walang sorpresa," Secretary Coloma told reporters.
At the same time, he said the President continues to listen to the people, with the aim of making ongoing reforms in government permanent.
"Patuloy ang ginagawang pakikinig ng Pangulo sa pagpapahiwatig ng saloobin ng mga mamamayan alinsunod sa layuning patatagin ang mga reporma at gawing ganap ang transpormasyon sa ating lipunan," he said.
Public opinion surveys, such as the one conducted by Pulse Asia, are among the tools to feel the people’s pulse, according to Coloma.
The Palace official also said that since day one, the President has made it a point to know the opinion of his “bosses” because he considers this an important element of good governance.
"Dahil ang pamahalaan na naglilingkod nang taus-puso ay palaging bukas sa pagpapahiwatig ng mga mamamayan ng kanilang saloobin," Coloma noted.
"This is a continuing process that the President has committed to undertake as part of his stewardship as Chief Executive of the land." PND (as)
Palace condemns attack on Tagum City peasant organizer
Malacañang on Thursday condemned the attack on a peasant organizer in Tagum City, Davao del Norte early this week, saying the police will hunt down the perpetrators.
"Patuloy pong tinitiyak ng ating pamahalaan ang malayang pagpapahayag at kinokondena po natin ang karahasan na isinagawa diyan na iyong nabanggit," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in response to reporters' questions during a press briefing at the Palace.
"At tiyak pong tinututukan kaagad ito ng ating mga awtoridad para matunton ang salarin at mapanagot. Wala pong puwang sa ating kasalukuyang administrasyon ang pagsasagawa ng karahasan laban sa mga mamamayan."
Dexter Librando, the 31-year-old organizer of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, was shot and injured by unidentified gunmen on Monday (September 29), after attending the launch of the People’s Initiative to Abolish Pork Barrel System (PIAP) in Tagum.
Librando sustained wounds in the nape and hip, and is recovering in a local hospital. PND (as)
Palace thanks private sector for helping the government address energy concerns
Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the participation of the private sector in solving the government’s energy concerns, especially the possible power shortage next year.
During a press briefing at the Palace, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. also assured that the government will continue to work to provide enough power supply during the summer months next year.
"Patuloy na tinututukan ng ating Department of Energy ang sitwasyon dahil tungkulin ng pamahalaan na tiyakin ang kasapatan ng supply ng kuryente at ‘yung pagiging available nito sa mga mamamayan sa resonableng halaga," he told reporters. "Iyan ang pangunahing layunin ng ating pamahalaan."
Secretary Coloma further said that the government continues to encourage different sectors to address problems in the energy sector.
He noted that the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has announced the participation of their major customers in the government’s Interruptible Load Program (ILP).
“Ang mga inisyatibang ganyan ay tinatanggap natin at pinapasalamatan natin ang hanay ng private sector sa kanilang pakikiisa sa pagharap sa power situation, dahil dapat naman talagang pagtulungan ito ng lahat ng mga stakeholders,“ he said.
Under the ILP, customers with huge power consumption, such as commercial establishments, will be asked to operate their own generator sets if the grid operator sees the need to augment power generation.
The program would make it easier to manage the demand for power, helping ensure power supply during the summer.
The ILP targets those with large embedded generation capacities, such as malls, large business establishments, and factories. PND (as)