President Aquino to join other leaders at 7th Bali Democracy Forum
(BALI, Indonesia) President Benigno S. Aquino III will be joining other leaders of Southeast Asia at the 7th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), to be held at the Bali International Convention Center here Friday.
President Aquino, who is set to arrive here Thursday evening, will deliver his remarks during this year's Bali Democracy Forum, an annual intergovernmental forum on the development of democracy in the Asia-Pacific region initiated by outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2008.
During the forum, President Aquino is set to highlight the Philippines' recent positive political and economic developments, as well as the excellent relations between the Philippines and Indonesia.
During an interview with Radio-Television Malacañang, Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Maria Rosario Aguinaldo stressed the importance of the President's attendance to the forum, which he will co-chair with President Yudhoyono.
The forum aims to promote and foster regional and international cooperation in the field of peace and democracy through dialogue-based sharing of experiences and best practices that adhere to the principles of equality, mutual respect and understanding.
The theme of this year’s summit is “Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture: the Dynamics of Political Development, Socio-Economic Progress and Public Participation in the Democratic Process.”
The event will also be attended by Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah, and delegates from 51 participating countries, as well as 68 international observers. PND (co)
President Aquino to be presented with 'Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna' award
(BALI, Indonesia) President Benigno S. Aquino III will be conferred the “Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna” (Star of the Republic of Indonesia) award on the sidelines of the 7th Bali Democracy Forum on Friday.
President Aquino will be the first Filipino to receive such an award in recognition of his "continued strong commitments and merits in promoting the bilateral ties between Indonesia and the Philippines in the past few years in many fields."
During an interview with Radio-Television Malacañang on Thursday, Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Maria Rosario Aguinaldo said the award is the highest honor given by the Indonesian government to an individual who has rendered extraordinary service to the integrity, viability and greatness of Indonesia.
Other heads of state who have been conferred this award include Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, and former President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea.
President Aquino is scheduled to arrive here Thursday evening to attend the international forum, which was initiated by outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2008.
Other leaders attending the annual summit to be held at the Bali International Convention Center are Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah.
Delegates from 51 participating countries, as well as 68 international observers, are also expected to attend the annual event. PND (co)
President Aquino leaves for Indonesia to attend the 7th Bali Democracy Forum
President Benigno S. Aquino will leave for Bali, Indonesia on Thursday afternoon to attend the 7th Bali Democracy Forum, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. has said in a statement.
President Aquino's attendance at the forum is upon the invitation of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudyohono, who is a close friend of the President’s and a staunch supporter of the government’s efforts to advance peace in Mindanao and promote the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes.
The President, who will join fellow leaders in the Asia-Pacific region, will serve as co-chair of the forum with President Yudyohono.
The Philippines has been an active participant in the annual intergovernmental forum on the development of democracy in the Asia-Pacific, since the forum’s inception in 2008.
The forum aims to foster dialogue-based regional and international cooperation through sharing of experiences and best practices that adhere to the principles of mutual respect and understanding.
Joining the President are Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Management Staff Secretary Julia Abad, and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
The forum has for its theme, “Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture: The Challenges of Political Development, Public Participation and Socio-Economic Progress in the 21st Century.” PND (as)
Government closely watching inflation rate, says Palace
The Palace on Thursday assured that the government's economic team and the central bank are closely monitoring the country's inflation rate to control its impact on the people.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said such economic issues as inflation, poverty, and job creation are gut-level issues that make the people look to the government for help.
"Sikmura kasi talaga ‘yan kaya siguro nandoon na rin ang aspeto ng higher expectations among our people, how they wish government can really be more effective," Coloma told reporters during a press briefing.
"Pero doon sa aspect na ‘yan, maipupunto natin na talaga namang tinututukan ito ng ating economic management team at maging ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas."
He noted that although the government has been able to reduce the inflation rate from a high of 4.9 percent to 4.4 percent, the central bank is still keeping track of inflation.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, he said, is the lead agency in tackling inflation, having all the tools of monetary policy to regulate inflation as well as the total liquidity in the banking system and other indicators.
"Sila ay nasa posisyon para tuwirang masabat ‘yung threats of inflation at pinagtutulungan naman iyan ng ating economic management team at ng Bangko Sentral," he added.
On the people's purchasing power, Coloma said the main goal of the government is to maintain a manageable inflation rate to avoid the erosion of the consumers' purchasing power.
To address this concern, the government is monitoring and regulating the prices of commodities through the National Price Coordination Council, he said, adding that the government wants to ensure a reasonable movement of prices of basic commodities for the benefit of the consumers.
Coloma said that with regards to salary adjustments, the government is carrying out a performance-based incentive program to augment the compensation of government employees who are performing well.
He however said that it is up to private companies to share their gains with their employees, especially when these companies post higher profits under better economic conditions. PND (as)
Gov’t spends P7.1-M for President Aquino’s attendance to 7th Bali Democracy Forum
The government has set aside around P7.1 million for President Benigno S. Aquino III’s participation in the 7th Bali Democracy Forum from October 9 to 10 in Indonesia, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday.
President Aquino co-chairs this year’s forum, with the theme “Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture: The Challenges of Political Development, Public Participation and Socio-Economic Progress in the 21st Century,” which is expected to be attended by world leaders.
“President Aquino, as co-chair of this year’s Bali Democratic Forum, will speak at the conference to share our country’s rich experience in achieving democracy leading to the implementation of the democratic processes in our nation,” Ochoa said.
“As the son of democracy icons – the late Senator Ninoy Aquino and former President Cory Aquino – President Aquino can truly be an inspiration to other heads of states and governments and the rest of the participants,” he added.
The Chief Executive is scheduled to leave late afternoon today via a chartered flight, accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Andrea Abad, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.
The annual Bali Democratic Forum is chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who will also confer to President Aquino the “Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna” (Star of the Republic of Indonesia), the highest decoration awarded by the Jakarta government to an individual who has contributed extraordinary service to the integrity, viability and greatness of Indonesia.
The amount earmarked for the trip covers expenses for transportation, accommodation, food, equipment and other requirements of the Chief Executive and his 47-member delegation.
Malacañang pleased with rising public trust on government efforts to fight criminality
The Palace said Thursday it is pleased with the steady increase in public trust on government efforts to combat criminality, as shown in a recent Pulse Asia survey.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. attributed the rise in public trust to the new crime reporting system the Philippine National Police (PNP) is implementing.
“Dapat siguro nating ikalugod kung nakikita natin na nagbubunga ang pagsisikap ng ating pambansang kapulisan na mahikayat o mahimok ang partisipasyon ng ating mga mamamayan,” Coloma told reporters during a press briefing in Malacañang.
“Naipunto na rin naman ito ni (Interior) Secretary Roxas at ni (PNP Chief) General (Alan) Purisima, na nag-institute tayo ng mas bago o mas modernong paraan ng reporting of crimes, na dahil dito ay dumami talaga ‘yung impormasyon ng pagre-report ng crime. Hindi ito tulad ng dati na tila pinagtatakpan ito doon sa level ng presinto,” he explained.
In Pulse Asia’s September 2014 Ulat ng Bayan survey, conducted from September 8 to 15, respondents rated the government’s effort in fighting criminality at 25 percent.
The figure showed a steady increase from 17 percent on September 13 last year; 20 percent on December 13 last year; and 23 percent on March 14 this year. It dropped to 20 percent last June 14.
Coloma noted that with the new reporting system, the government could now gauge criminality to address it properly.
“Kapag naire-report ay magkakaroon ng batayan kung paano ito babawasan, at kung mare-report ay matutunton din kung sino ang mga maaaring nagsagawa ng krimen at pwede silang panagutin,” he said.
He noted that it inspires the government to know that the people appreciate its efforts to stem criminality in the country.
“Nagsisilbing ispirasyon tuwing magkakaroon ng feedback na kinikilala ng mga mamamayan ang pagsisikap ng pamahalaan, at patuloy din nating hinihimok ang ating mga kababayan na lumahok sa kampanya laban sa krimen at laban sa korapsyon,” Coloma said. PND (ag)
President Aquino to thank Indonesia for continuously supporting the Philippines
President Benigno S. Aquino III said he will personally extend his gratitude to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for his continuing support to the Philippines especially in the Mindanao peace process and the issue on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The President left for Indonesia Thursday afternoon to attend the 7th Bali Democracy Forum. He is expected to return to Manila Friday evening.
"Gagamitin natin ang pagkakataong ito upang magbigay-pugay at magpasalamat kay Pangulong Yudhoyono," the President said in his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
"Hindi lamang siya kapwa-pinuno sa ASEAN, isa rin siyang matalik na kaibigan."
The President said Indonesia played a major role in the past during the government's negotiation with the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
With regards to the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said Indonesia supports the country's position of resolving the issue through a rules based approach.
The signing of an agreement regarding maritime boundaries between the Philippines and Indonesia also highlighted strong relations between the two countries, the President noted.
"Nitong Mayo 2014 nga po, napirmahan na ang kasunduan hinggil sa maritime boundaries ng Pilipinas at Indonesia, at ng kaakibat nitong mga karapatan sa dagat," he said.
The agreement becomes a model in sealing a complicated negotiation between Indonesia and the Philippines anchored on thrust and respect, he said.
Also during his trip to Indonesia, President Aquino will receive the “Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna,” the highest medal of recognition in Indonesia.
"Malinaw po sa akin na ang karangalang ito ay hindi lamang pagkilala sa mga nagawa ko bilang indibidwal, kundi pati na rin sa kolektibong pakikilahok ng bawat disenteng Pilipino upang isulong ang demokrasya," he said.
"Sagisag din po ito ng mahaba at matibay nating pakikipag-ugnayan sa Indonesia: Mula pa noong panahon ng kolonyalismo, ang mamamayan ng Pilipinas at Indonesia ay nagpakita na ng pagtutulungan, pagdadamayan at pagkakaisa," he added.
He also noted that since becoming independent countries, both the Philippines and Indonesia responded shoulder to shoulder in addressing disasters, strengthening the economy, and pursuing regional peace and stability. PND (as)
President Aquino assures Albay of support with Mayon volcano's impending eruption
President Benigno S. Aquino III said he will remain at the helm of government although he is in a one-day visit to Indonesia.
The President left for Indonesia Thursday afternoon to attend the 7th Bali Democracy Forum.
In his departure message at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, the President said he will particularly focus on the situation in Albay after many residents near the Mayon Volcano were evacuated to safer areas because of the volcano's impending eruption.
"Nagbigay na po ako ng direktiba kina Secretary Mar Roxas at Dinky Soliman na gawin ang kinakailangang koordinasyon upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan," he said.
He said that based on the report of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, the government is set to distribute 54,000 food packs starting Sunday this week.
The government is also ready to distribute up to 540,000 food packs to the affected families depending on the need, he said.
Based on the assessment by experts, Mayon volcano's instability could last for six months and the government must prepare to address the needs of the evacuees, the President said.
"Sa bisa po ng Section 3(J) at 22 ng Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, naglaan na tayo ng pondong magagamit sa pagtulong sa lokal na pamahalaan ng Albay," he said.
Although his trip to Indonesia is short, President Aquino said it is significant in forging strong relations with other countries in the region.
The President will return to Manila Friday evening. PND (as)