April 14, 2016 – News Releases
|14 Apr 2016|
|President Aquino attends Sitio Electrification Program switch-on ceremony in Misamis Oriental|
|(LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental) The government has surpassed its target of bringing electricity to rural areas nationwide through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP).The SEP, which was launched in September 2011 as a flagship program of President Benigno S. Aquino III, was able to energize 32,688 sitios as of last March 31. The target was 32,441 sitios.
President Aquino on Wednesday acknowledged former and present Energy secretaries, as well as the electric cooperatives that contributed to the successful implementation of the SEP.
“Dahil sa ginawa ng tatlong Kalihim ng ating Department of Energy, umpisa kay Rene Almendras, tumuloy kay Icot Petilla for the most part, at si Naidi (Zenaida) Monsada ang nagtapos nito. Tumulong ang lahat ng cooperative para mangyari ito. Hindi naman ho puro tauhan ng gobyerno ang gumawa nito. Tumulong kayo sa Sitio Electrification Program. Tumutulong kayo palagi pag may bagyo at nagbagsakan ang linya, kayo ang nagpapamadali ng panunumbalik ng kuryente,” President Aquino said after leading the switch-on ceremony at the Misamis Oriental-1 Rural Electric Service Cooperative, Inc. (MORESCO-1) covered court in Barangay Poblacion here.
“Doon po sa pinagtulong-tulungan natin—ulitin ko, hindi si Noynoy Aquino ang gumawa nito—kayo ho ang gumawa. Idamay na lang ninyo ako. Tayo ho ang gumawa ng tagumpay na ito kaya maraming-maraming salamat sa inyo,” the President added.
“Gusto ko hong ipagdiinan: Sa Daang Matuwid ho kasi, ano ba ang pakay? Ang pakay ay …maglingkod sa taumbayan nang totoo,” he said.
Assisting the President in pushing the knife switch that turned on the LED lights representing the energized sitios nationwide, were Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada and National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edita Bueno.
Also present were Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, and MORESCO-1 Board President Nonito Labis and General Manager Engineer Julie Real.
The government has released P21 billion to 117 electric cooperatives to bolster the completion of the program. Luzon got the biggest share of the funding with 11,670 sitios energized, followed by Mindanao with 10,800, and Visayas with 10,218.
The SEP, which aims to boost the economy that would lead to job generation and bring in investments to rural areas, is under the supervision of NEA.
President Aquino also mentioned other government projects, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and PhilHealth, which have improved the lives of the Filipino people.
He noted that 4.6 million households are beneficiaries of the 4Ps and that 7.7 million Filipinos are now above the poverty line.
“Dito sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, nag-umpisa tayo sa 780,000 na kabahayan sa buong Pilipinas. Ngayon po, 4.6 million. Itong taon na ito, matatapos na po ang 200,000. Ang in-expand noong 2014 sa high school, ang unang nag-graduate doon, over 300,000. At sa number na iyan, kulang-kulang 14,000 ang honors,” said the President.
“Talagang ang isang sentrong mensaheng gusto kong iwan sa inyo ay lahat ng ginawa nating ito, nagmula dahil nagtulong-tulong tayong baguhin ang dinatnan nating sistema. Ang perang hindi nanakaw, nadala sa Sitio Electrification, nadala sa 4Ps, nadala sa 185,000 classrooms, nadala sa PhilHealth,” he added.
The President also mentioned the National Greening Program under which 1.5 billion trees would be planted in 1.5 million hectares.
With 78 days remaining in his term, President Aquino said he is leaving the country in a much better state for the next generation.
|President Aquino urges Misamis Oriental residents to support continuity of Daang Matuwid|
|(CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday night underscored the gains from the government’s Daang Matuwid advocacy as he urged Misamis Oriental residents to vote wisely come election time.
In a speech delivered during his meeting with local leaders and members of the community here, the President described how the people of Mindanao have benefitted from a government that has always prioritized the welfare of its citizens.
He said the budget allocation for Mindanao has increased by 155 percent, citing the P397 billion allotment for the region this year.
“Sabi ko sa inyo, papalitan natin ang istorya ng Pilipinas. Hindi tadhana ng Pilipino ang ‘just tiis’. Pwede nating baguhin ang ating tadhana. Naniwala po kayo sa akin. Tinulungan niyo akong magkaroon ng pagkakataon na baguhin ang ating pong istorya at ito na nga po ang resulta,” the President said during the meeting held at the Regatta Square, Business Park in Pueblo de Oro here.
President Aquino pointed out that from 2011 to 2016, Misamis Oriental has received P24.14 billion for infrastructure projects that included the construction of the Laguindingan Airport, Puerto-Sayre Highway flyover, expansion of the Opol-Laguindingan section of the Butuan City-Cagayan de Oro City-Iligan Road, and the Alae section of the Misamis Oriental-Bukidnon Bypass Road.
“Alam po niyo, bahagi lang itong mga kalsadang ito ng 18,000 national roads na ating pong naisaayos o pinagawa, kasabay ang 107,000 lineal meters na mga tulay,” said the Chief Executive, who also mentioned the modernization of the Cagayan de Oro Port and the rehabilitation of the Balingoan Port.
He further noted allocations of P564.02 million for farm-to-road projects, P651.21 million for irrigation systems, P46.9 million for post-harvest machinery, and P37.05 million for 13 community fish landing centers and the implementation of intercropping in 21 sites in Misamis Oriental.
He said that under the government’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program, P420.65 million was allocated for two barangay health stations, 26 rural health units and urban health centers, and 11 hospitals in the province, including the upgrade of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City.
President Aquino said of the 93 million people nationwide covered by PhilHealth, 1.55 million are from Misamis Oriental.
In education, he said, 3,343 classrooms have been constructed in the province while 21,300 students are scholars of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The President said the number of households covered by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) has risen to 72,982, compared to only 6,389 under the former administration, while in Cagayan de Oro, there are now 17,000 beneficiaries, compared to a little more than 2,000 covered during the last administration.
He also said that Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is helping the Philippine government in creating a master plan that includes flood-control projects, to be implemented from 2017 to 2019.
As he thanked the Filipino people for their trust in his leadership, President Aquino reminded them to choose the candidates who will continue the country’s road to progress.
“Saan ba tayo tutungo sa ika-siyam ng Mayo? Doon tayo sa mga baka: baka ituloy, baka mapaganda nila, pero pwede ring baka pigilin lahat, baka ibang direksyon, baka ibang pinagmumulan, baka ibang pakay, o dito tayo kay Mar at kay Leni na sigurado tayong kasama nung humuhubog nito at kasamang magpapatuloy nito,” he said, referring to the administration’s presidential and vice presidential bets, respectively Manuel Roxas II and Leni Robredo.
“Seventy-eight days na lang po ako po’y magreretiro na. Gusto ko ho namang masabi sa aking mga magulang at sa inyong lahat. Hindi ko kayo iniwanan, bagkus kumbaga isinalin ko kayo sa parehong mabuting kamay o baka mas magaling pang mga kamay. Hindi kayo mapapabayaan pag tinulungan natin sina Mar at Leni, sigurado kong malalampasan pa nila ang nagawa natin nitong anim na taong ito,” the President added. PND (jm)
|President Aquino leads conferment of National Artists Award|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday attended the conferment of the Order of National Artists Award in Malacañang Palace, thanking the awardees for their contributions to national development.“Sa ating mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining: Alam kong hindi sasapat ang anumang medalya, anumang bansag, anumang makukulay na salita, sa inyong naging ambag sa inyong larangan at sa ating lipunan,” the President said in his message.
“Sa mga nagdaang taon, naging bantayog ng inspirasyon ang inyong mga katha at obra; huwaran kayo ng puspusang dedikasyon, noon, ngayon, at maging sa susunod pang henerasyon… Kaya naman, buong-karangalan po akong humaharap sa inyo ngayon, at taos-pusong tumatanaw sa inyong dakilang kontribusyon. Sa inyong lahat, maraming-maraming salamat po.”
He told the awardees and their families that sharing their works and talents has inspired many young Filipinos, leading to the enrichment of the country’s culture and national identity.
This is the core principle of his administration, he said, noting that public service must be directed towards the people, and not towards oneself.
“Nakatutok tayo, hindi sa pansariling interes, kundi sa kapakanan ng mas nakakarami. Sa bawat pagkakataon, ibinubuhos natin ang ating buong lakas upang isulong ang minamahal nating bansa,” the President said.
Thursday’s awardees were Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, visual arts (posthumous); Manuel Conde, film (posthumous); Lazaro Francisco, literature (posthumous); Cirilo Bautista, literature; Francisco Coching, visual arts (posthumous); Francisco Feliciano, music (posthumous); Alicia Garcia Reyes, dance; Ramon Santos, music; and Jose Maria Zaragoza, architecture (posthumous). PND (as)
|President Aquino meets with U.S. Defense Chief during courtesy call in Palace|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday met with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during a courtesy call in Malacañang Palace.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras joined President Aquino during his meeting with Carter.
The American defense chief, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, was accompanied by US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg; Ambassador David Shear, US assistant secretary of defense; Eric Rosenbach, the defense secretary’s chief of staff; Brig. Gen. Eric Smith, senior military assistant to the defense secretary; and Peter Cook, Pentagon Press Secretary and chief spokesman for the Department of Defense.
Also present on the Philippines’ side were Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, Department of National Defense; Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista of the Cabinet Cluster on Security, Justice and Peace; Gen. Hernando Iriberri, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia, Jr.
During a joint press conference with Secretary Gazmin in Malacañang, Carter announced the conduct of joint patrols between US and Filipino forces in Philippine territories, especially in the South China Sea.
The joint patrols will involve the two countries’ navies and air forces, according to Carter.
Carter also said that some members of the US military participating in the ongoing Balikatan exercises will be left behind in selected Philippine bases to improve interoperability of both forces and enhance the capability of Filipino forces, both in conflict readiness and disaster response, as well as during accidents. PND (as)
|Electing admin bets will ensure continuity of major government projects, says President Aquino|
|President Aquino reiterated the need for the continuity of reform measures initiated during his administration, which could only be possible by electing candidates of the administration.With 77 days left in office as chief executive, the President told a gathering of Liberal Party members in San Juan that the party must strive hard to reach more people and encourage them to vote for administration bets.
In his speech, he highlighted the importance of electing candidates from the administration saying they will surely continue the reforms and programs that he started in the last six years.
For instance, there are big projects that he will leave behind when he steps down from power in June. Among these projects include the road dike along Laguna Lake, which will control flood and at the same time connect far-flung communities to city centers.
He said the bidding for the project, which is under the PPP program, can’t proceed because businessmen want assurance from the government that they will be get paid once it is completed due to some land reclamation issues.
The President said time is running out to finish all the documentation and works and it may be before he steps down in June.
If he signs it before he leaves office it might be considered a midnight deal and if he refrains from approving it there is no assurance that the next administration will continue the project if ever the next president comes from the opposition.
“Ang pinakabuod—at ito siguro ang pinakamatinding pakiusap ko sa lahat—ang layo na ng inabot natin dahil sa pagtahak sa Daang Matuwid. Hindi tayo nakakasigurado, pag humiwalay tayo kay Mar at Leni, na pareho ang pananaw ng papalit sa kanila,” he said.
“Hindi tayo sigurado sa kakayahan, sa eksperyensiya, at saan ba nagmumula, saan ba ang tutok? Babalik ba tayo sa tutok sa sarili o itutuloy yung tutok sa kapwa?”
There is no need to gamble the country’s future if Filipinos choose the right set of leaders this coming May election, he said.
The country has changed a lot and if administration candidates win major posts in government, it would be easy for them to build on those successes, the President said.
“Puwede naman nating palakihin pa, palawakin pa yung nangyayari nang pagbabago sa ating lipunan, pero hindi mangyayari yon kung tatamad-tamad tayo, kung pababayaan nating yung puro bola ang umiral,” he said.
“Kailangang buuin natin ang lahat ng Pilipinong makita—ipakita na iisa lang ang tambalang talagang totohanang itutuloy ang atin pong pinagsimulan.”
Among those present Thursday during the Club Filipino event include leading LP stalwarts such as Senate President Franklin Drilon, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, and House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales. PND (as)