Thursday, 30 October 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

President Aquino tells soldiers: Contribute to improve the military organization

President Benigno S. Aquino III encouraged the members of the armed forces to help make the military organization a much better and professional fighting force by giving their individual contribution.

In his speech during the 45th AFP Sergeant Major and 19th Non-Commissioned Officers Day in Malacanang Palace Tuesday night, the President told the Armed Forces of the Philippines's Sergeant Majors to do their part by actively playing bridge to old and new military officers.

"Kayong mga Sergeant Major, kayo ang nag-uugnay, kayo ang tagahubog doon sa mga bagong hirang na opisyal. Kayo naman ang tagapasa ng kaalaman doon sa mga mas bata sa inyo," the President said.

Sergeant Majors should share their experiences to younger officers for the benefit of the entire military organization, he added.

"Puwede naman tayong kabahagi ng napagandang institusyon. Iyon ang kailangang pagpilian," he said.

While ordinary soldiers are doing their duties, the government will also do its part, the President said.

For instance, the government has started mass housing projects for soldiers, initiated fixing their pensions, aggressively pushed for the AFP modernization and has provided livelihood to members of the military.

Part of the livelihood program for soldiers were the ones opened in three camps in the country. One in Fort Magsaysay, and camps in Capiz and Bukidnon. The biggest initiative in the livelihood program is palm oil production, he said.

"At ang plano dito ‘yung aktibo at saka ‘yung retirado makkiinabang na. May tulong na rin na nagagamit ng estado itong lupang bakante ngayon pero importante nakatutok doon sa kapakanan ng mga tao ngang malaki-laking bahagi ng buhay nila ang hinandog sa serbisyo ng bansa," the President said.

Different government agencies will work together to help the soldiers such as putting up cooperatives, giving them know-how and skills and start businesses, according to the President.

In terms of modernizing the AFP, the President said that so far, 44 projects were already completed under the AFP Modernization Capability Upgrade Program from July 2010 to September 2014.

The Aquino administration surpassed the number of projects of three previous administrations under its modernization program for the military.

The government has so far spent P41.38 billion for the AFP modernization. The money was spent for acquiring new planes, guns, communications equipment, force protection and many others, he said.

"Meron pa akong natitirang isang taon [at] walong buwan; at marami pa tayong nasa pipeline," he said. PND (as)

President Aquino swears in Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday inducted into office Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza during a ceremony held at the Music Room of Malacañang Palace.

Associate Justice Jardeleza, 65, replaced retired Associate Justice Roberto Abad. He is the 173rd Associate Justice and the fifth appointee of President Aquino in the Supreme Court.

He was also sworn into office by Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno last August 20, the same day he was appointed.

Jardeleza had served as Solicitor General since February 2012, after his stint as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon from July 2011.

He graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1974 and placed third in the bar exams the same year. He earned his Masters of Law degree in 1977 from the Harvard School of Law.

In 1997, he was admitted to the New York Sate Bar and the US Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Present during the ceremony were his mother Concepcion Jardeleza, wife Maria Carmen Jardeleza, and children Maria Teresa and Francis Albert. PND (ag)

China welcomes Philippines' participation in 2014 APEC Summit in Beijing, says foreign affairs official

Despite their differences, China welcomes the Philippines' participation in the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing this November, a foreign affairs official said on Wednesday.

“The Chinese government is really looking forward to our participation,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura del Rosario said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

The Philippines has a very good and strong delegation going to the summit and the Chinese are happy that the Philippines is supportive of their hosting of the APEC summit, del Rosario said.

There is an APEC tradition of carrying over a host economy’s long-term concerns that have yet to be settled into the next summit, she said, explaining that China's senior officials know that any unfinished business in this year’s summit will be carried over into next year’s APEC summit, which the Philippines will host.

"So it’s very nice, what I call ‘partnership’ because, in effect, we will be holding hands to make sure that all the issues that affect us will be handled smoothly from one host economy to another," del Rosario said.

President Aquino leaves for Beijing on November 9 and will proceed to Myanmar on November 11 to attend the ASEAN Summit. PND (as)

President Aquino to discuss trade, governance during 2014 APEC Summit

President Benigno S. Aquino III will be discussing trade, good governance, and disaster resilience when he meets with fellow leaders and businessmen during the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing, China next month.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura del Rosario said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday that the President's schedule includes meetings with business executives and fellow leaders during the APEC Summit.

Del Rosario said that as part of the APEC tradition, the President will have a dialogue with the chief executive officers or with members of the APEC Business Advisory Council.

Prior to the CEO Summit on November 9, the President will give a talk on economic reform for competitive growth, she said.

"This topic is really very appropriate for the President because we are aware of the fact that this administration has done a lot of improvements in its regulations, just so we can become more competitive," she said.

After his meeting with the business leaders, the President will have a dialogue with his fellow leaders on promoting disaster resilience, small, micro- and medium enterprises, financial inclusion, and domestic governance.

According to del Rosario, there will be a discussion on Internet economy, physical connectivity, people-to-people connectivity, as well as APEC scholarships.

She said the Chief Executive is also expected to speak about strengthening the connectivity and structural development of APEC member countries.

"During the Summit itself, the leaders themselves will carry out the discussions and look forward to the future discussions that will be held in future APEC (meetings)," she explained.

For the APEC Leaders’ Meeting, the leaders will discuss advancing regional economic integration, specifically free trade arrangements among Pacific Rim countries.

Del Rosario noted that APEC 2014 is handling issues that are more complex than before, because the Asia Pacific is now becoming increasingly sure of its role as the engine of growth in the whole world.

There are also more pressing matters that need to be addressed, she said, considering the previous experiences that the trade bloc had in 2008, particularly the financial crisis and the expansion of trade in the region.

Countries will be looking more into areas where they can do more improvements, she added.

The President will leave for China on November 9. He will leave Beijing on November 11 to attend the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar. PND (as)

President Aquino to push for stronger ties with Latin American countries during APEC Summit

President Benigno S. Aquino III will look into the possibility of getting investment when he meets with leaders of Latin American countries during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing next month, a foreign affairs official said Wednesday.

The Philippines considers Latin America a new frontier in terms of doing business, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

There are growing economies in Latin America such as Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, and building ties with them would benefit the Philippines, del Rosario said, noting that Brazil is not an APEC member.

"If we strengthen our relations, for instance, with Mexico, Peru, and Chile, then somehow we (will) have a foothold there," she said.

It is already evident that Latin American countries are bringing more investment to the Philippines, she said, adding that Mexico has increased its investment in the Philippines through FEMSA Coca-Cola and cement manufacturer CEMEX.

The President leaves for the APEC Summit in Beijing on November 9 and will proceed to the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar on November 11. PND (as)