April 20, 2016 – News Releases
|20 Apr 2016|
|President Aquino inaugurates Baybay Diversion Road in Leyte|
|(BAYBAY CITY, Leyte) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday led the inauguration of the five-kilometer two-lane Baybay Diversion Road that will ease traffic congestion and will cut by half an hour the travel time to and from nearby cities.
The P374.63-million project, which began in February 2013, had a soft opening last January. Slope protection works are expected to be completed in August.
“Simpleng-simple lang po ang pangarap ko bilang inyong Pangulo — ang maipamana ang Pilipinas na di hamak na mas maganda kaysa ating dinatnan. Ngayon po, minabuti nating tumungo dito sa Baybay City, dahil alam natin, pruweba kayo sa nangyayaring pagbabago sa kalakhang bansa,” the President said in his speech delivered at the Baybay City Gymnasium before thousands of residents of Southern Leyte’s 5th district.
He explained that the Diversion Road, which starts at the junction of the Ormoc-Baybay-Southern Leyte Road in Barangay Candamdam and reaches the junction of Ormoc-Baybay-Southern Leyte Road in Barangay Hipusngo, eases the traffic congestion in Baybay City proper.
“Ang mga motorista kasing patungo ng mga lungsod ng Tacloban o Ormoc, pati ng Baybay City Port, di na kailangang dumaan sa lungsod, kung nasaan ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno at iba pang pribadong gusali,” he said.
President Aquino further said that the project has improved access from Maasin City to Tacloban and Ormoc, noting that the travel time between Maasin and Tacloban has been reduced from three-and-a-half hours to three hours, and between Maasin and Ormoc from two hours to one-and-a-half hours.
“Isa lamang ito sa mahabang listahan ng imprastruktura na tinutukan natin sa probinsya ng Leyte. Nariyan din ang Tabango-Catmon-La Fortuna-Manlawaan-Gimarco Road, at ang Junction Abuyog-Silago Road,” he said.
The President reported that Leyte’s budget for public works and transportation projects rose from more than P7 billion in the 2005-2010 period to P27 billion in the 2011-2016 period under the present administration.
These infrastructure projects include the Tabango-Catmon-La Fortuna-Manlawaan-Gimarco Road, Abuyog-Silago Road, Tacloban Port, Ormoc Port, Hilongos Port, Baybay Port, Javier Port, Carigara Port, and Babatngon Port.
Some P881.55 million has been allocated for farm-to-market roads from 2011 to 2016 and of the 218 projects that were funded from 2011 to 2015, 199 projects have been completed and are being used by 37,000 farmer households, he said.
On irrigation projects in the province, the President cited that his administration has allotted P2.73 billion from 2011 to the present, and a total of 166 projects have been completed, among them the Javier Communal Irrigation Project, Tabunok Communal Irrigation System, and the rehabilitation of the Tagbawto Communal Irrigation System.
The President further reported that the construction of 4,057 classrooms will be completed this year and that P243.38 million has been allocated to improve barangay health stations, rural health units, urban health centers, and hospitals in Leyte.
“Ilan lang po ang mga programang ito sa mga ginagawa natin sa Leyte. Sa nakalipas nga pong halos anim na taon, nakita natin, hindi lang ang pagbangon, kundi ang paghakbang pasulong ng inyong lalawigan,” he said, thanking the local governments and the people for their support.
“Ngayong nakabuwelo na tayo, at nagsisimula nang umusad, nasa harap na natin ang pagkakataong higit pang umarangkada. Sa pagtahak natin sa iisang direksyon, sa pagtutuloy ng ambagan at malasakit sa Daang Matuwid, tiwala akong wala nang makakapigil pa sa kolektibo nating pagkamit sa pinakamatatayog pa nating mithiin,” the President said. PND (sm)
|Palace backs legal processes for $81-million Bangladesh bank heist|
|Malacañang has expressed support for all legal processes that aim to ensure the integrity of banking transactions in the Philippines, amid the investigation for the cyber theft of US$81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh.
“The government supports all legal processes that are observed to ensure the integrity of all banking and financial transactions in the Philippines,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Anti-Money Laundering Council has primary responsibility for determining if there has been violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act,” he said, adding that the council then conveys its findings to the Department of Justice or to the Office of the Ombudsman, “which takes on the responsibility of assessing whether there is probable cause for the filing of charges”.
The Bangladesh Criminal Investigation Department reported on Monday that about 20 foreign citizens took part in the cyber theft.
Citing the ongoing investigation, the department declined to name the foreign nationals who stole US$81 million from Bangladesh’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The amount ended up in the Philippines and was allegedly laundered in three casinos. PND (jd)
|Palace says ‘Daang Matuwid’ coalition will continue to gain support|
|Malacañang has expressed confidence that the Daang Matuwid coalition will secure the support of Filipinos come election time.
“We are confident that in the run-up to election day, the Daang Matuwid coalition will continue to garner support as our Bosses manifest their desire for the continuity of good governance that is the basis for the attainment of inclusive growth,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
“Voters’ preferences are also continually being influenced by media reports on political developments,” Secretary Coloma said, noting the recent proliferation of public opinion surveys in recent weeks.
“The race for both the Presidency and Vice Presidency remains closely fought and highly competitive,” he added.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte led the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted for ABS-CBN, followed by Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. PND (kt)
|President Aquino leads groundbreaking of Metro Rail Transit 7|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday led the groundbreaking ceremony for the Metro Rail Transit 7 (MRT7) project that will shorten the commute between Bulacan and Metro Manila.During the event, held at the Quezon Memorial Circle, the President was assisted by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) President Ramon Ang, House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Bulacan Governor Willie Sy-Alvarado, and other stakeholders.
“Ito na nga po ang kauna-unahang mass transport system na magdadala ng benepisyo sa ating mga kababayan sa Northeast NCR (National Capital Region) hanggang sa bahagi ng Bulacan. Ang mga nakatira malapit dito sa Quezon Memorial Circle, sa kahabaan ng Commonwealth Avenue at Fairview, hanggang sa mga taga-San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, ay magkakaroon na ng mas mabilis at episyenteng paraan para makarating sa kanilang mga trabaho, pati na sa iba pang sentro ng komersyo sa Kamaynilaan,” President Aquino said in his speech.
The 23-kilometer elevated railway that will connect North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, will be built by the newly formed SMC MRT-7. It will have 14 stations — North EDSA; Quezon Memorial Circle; University Ave.; Tandang Sora; Don Antonio; Batasan; Manggahan; Dona Carmen; Regalado; Mindanao Ave.; Quirino Highway; Sacred Heart; Tala; and San Jose del Monte. A depot that will be built in San Jose del Monte will house a control center, administrative offices, warehouse, and facilities for train cars.
The MRT7 is expected to have an initial daily capacity of 550,000 during peak hours, accommodating 28,000 passengers per hour per direction.
“Sa halagang P69.3 billion, itatayo natin hindi lamang ang 23 kilometrong Metro Rail Transit System line, kundi pati na rin ang isang Intermodal Transport Terminal (ITT) sa San Jose del Monte. Dito po, pagbaba ng pasahero sa tren, makakasakay na siya sa kanyang pribadong sasakyan o kaya sa mga pampublikong sasakyan patungo saanmang bahagi ng Bulacan at karatig nitong bayan. Gayundin, ang mga magmumula sa ITT ay mas madali nang makakarating sa Maynila,” the President explained.
“Dagdag pa rito, kasama sa proyektong ito ang paglalatag ng 22 kilometrong highway, mula sa Bocaue interchange ng NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), hanggang sa ITT sa San Jose del Monte. Sa pamamagitan ng bagong highway na ito na may lawak na anim na lanes, hindi na kailangang makipagsiksikan ng mga pribado at pampublikong sasakyan na papunta sa ITT at sa NLEX sa mga kalsada ng San Jose del Monte,” he added.
Once completed, the project will benefit 350,000 commuters a day, he said, noting that travel time from San Jose del Monte to Makati will be drastically reduced from three-and-a-half hours to one hour.
The President pointed out that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved the project back in 2013.
“Masusing pag-aaral ang kailangan dito; dapat maisaayos ang lahat ng gusot sa kasalukuyan, para hindi na ito makaperwisyo sa kinabukasan. Tungkulin din ng inyong pamahalaan na sa bawat negosasyon, siguruhing nasasagad ang benepisyong dala nito sa ating mga Boss. Ngayon pong malinaw sa atin ang pakikiisa ng ating mga katuwang sa proyekto sa layuning isulong ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan, masisimulan na ito, upang pagdating ng 2020 ay mapakinabangan na natin ito,” he explained.
The Chief Executive also cited the government’s 50 solicited Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects.
“Labing-isa sa solicited projects na ito ang nai-award na sa mga partner nating pribadong sektor; lampas pa po ito sa 6 na proyektong nai-award sa nakaraang tatlong administrasyon. Labing-apat naman po sa mga PPP projects natin ang nasa iba’t ibang bahagi na ng procurement, habang ang natitira pa ay nasa pipeline,” he said.
He assured that all agreements entered into by the government were crafted for the benefit of the people.
“Noon pong huling SONA (State of the Nation Address), idiniin natin: ‘Di na baleng hindi ako ang mag-groundbreaking o mag-ribbon-cutting… ang mahalaga: Gawing pulido at naaayon sa batas ang mga proyekto, para oras na maaprubahan ito, dire-diretso ang pagpapatupad; maski sino ang sumuri, papasa ang kalidad ng ating ipinatatayo,’” President Aquino said.
“Babalikan ko po ang araw na ito, sa kabanata ng Daang Matuwid na pinagtulungan nating itala… at marahil, sa araw na iyon, bibigkasin kong muli ang kaisipang ibinabahagi ko sa inyo ngayon: Talagang walang imposible sa Pilipinong disente, tapat, at tunay na nagkakaisa,” he said. PND (sm)
|President Aquino declares April 27 as a non-working holiday in Lapu-Lapu City|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued Proclamation No. 1251, declaring April 27 as a special non-working holiday in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu province in celebration of the “Kadaugan sa Mactan” (Battle of Mactan).
“The Battle of Mactan is among the significant events in Philippine history and serves as testimony to the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Filipinos; and it is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Lapu-Lapu be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” read the Proclamation, which was signed last April 12 by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., by authority of President Aquino.
Also signed on April 12 were Proclamation No. 1252, which declared May 23 as a special day in the municipality of Calaca in Batangas province to commemorate the birth anniversary of General Eleuterio Marasigan, a great Calaqueño and a patriot of the libertarian struggle in Batangas; and Proclamation No. 1250, which declared April 21 as a non-working day to celebrate the 15th founding anniversary of Calamba City in Laguna province.
President Aquino also declared special holidays in Batangas and Cotabato, respectively. The proclamations were signed by Executive Secretary Ochoa last April 8.
The President declared May 7 as a non-working day in San Pablo City, Batangas in celebration of the city’s 76th Charter Day by virtue of Proclamation No. 1248.
Proclamation No. 1249, on the other hand, declared May 10 as a special holiday in the municipality of President Roxas in Cotabato province.
The Municipality of President Roxas was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 4869 which was approved on May 8,1967. Since May 8 this year falls on a Sunday, the municipality will be marking its 49th founding anniversary on May 10 instead. PND (jm)
|President Aquino attends Manuel L. Quezon University’s 68th commencement exercises|
|President Aquino attended Wednesday the 68th commencement exercises of the Manuel L. Quezon University thanking the institution awarding him Doctor of Public Administration, Honoris Causa.
“Unang una po, nagpapasalamat tayo sa karangalan na iginawad ninyo sa akin bilang Doctor of Public Administration, Honoris Causa. Madalas po Doctor of Law, Doctor of Humanities, at Economics ang naibibigay sa akin,” the President said in a speech during the event.
“Sa pagkakaloob po niyo ng kauna-unahang beses ng Doctor of Public Administration naisip kong idiin, ano nga ba ang ibig sabihin ng good governance?”
By adhering to good governance, he said his administration has made major strides in building more infrastructure, improving social welfare, education, healthcare and job creation.
He said under his term, government constructed 18,000 kilometers of national roads, 1,500 kilometers of tourism roads, 107,000 lineal meters of bridges in less than six years.
For the education sector, he said that when he assumed office in 2010, there were 66,800 classrooms backlog in the country. Now, more than three months before leaving office, his government constructed 185,000 classrooms for the entire Philippines.
These classrooms include those for the K to 12 program and for typhoon-devastated regions and the old school buildings that need to be replaced.
In providing health care, he said his government increased the budget of the Department of Health by 300 percent enabling it to do more for the people.
The government also strengthened PhilHealth and from 47 million membership, the administration increased the membership to 93 million, the President said.
Another flagship project of the government is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps. From 780,000 households in 2010, the administration expanded its coverage to 4.6 million households today, he reported.
In 2014, the government also started the coverage to include students in high school to improve young people’s chance of landing decent jobs, he said.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) also became a major government institution that train people to eventually generate jobs. The President said that TESDA posted more than nine million course graduates under its programs.
“Ang kinagandang balita po dito sa TESDA, dati ho ang placement rate ng TESDA ay 28 percent. Ibig sabihin po ‘nun, may trabaho pagkatapos ng anim na buwan, pagkatapos mag-gradaute, mayroon na po silang trabaho,” he noted.
“Sa kasalukuyan po, 72 percent na po ‘nung ating course graduates ang may trabaho pagtapos o bago umabot ang ikaanim na buwan nila sa kurso.”
Also, the President cited the rapid developments in the Visayas region as a result of much improved economic activity and development in the country, with major investors pouring in money even in the provinces, he said. PND (as)