01 August 2015

Palace expects smooth leadership transition at the Department of the Interior and Local Government
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas will resign as the head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) after he was endorsed by President Aquino on Friday as the administration’s standard-bearer for the 2016 presidential election.

Some lawmakers from the oppositions called on the resignation of Roxas following his endorsement by the President.

“Of course that is a given,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“He will not stay in office para maakusahan siyang ginagamit ang kanyang posisyon. Certainly, he will not do that. It is a given that he will step down,” Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Roxas is preparing for the leadership transition to ensure that his programs in the DILG will continue, she said.
Among the present programs in the DILG include the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG), Oplan Lambat Sibat of the Philippine National Police, as well as the release of patrol jeeps for the police in different municipalities.

“So tinutuloy naman po nila ang mga ito sa DILG, but si Secretary Roxas wants to make sure that the transition is smooth para walang ma-disrupt na service to the public.”

Valte said there are names being floated as Roxas’ successor at the DILG but there is still no confirmation yet, according to the Palace official.

Once there is somebody chosen to replace him, it will be announced to the public immediately, she said. PND (as)

Government thankful of UN recognition for country’s response to Typhoon Yolanda
The Palace expressed gratitude to United Nations Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani who commended the Philippines for its effective response to the devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.

Beyani praised the Philippine government for its efforts in extending assistance to internally displaced persons, adding however, that government efforts must be sustainable and durable.

“We agree with the observations and we thank him for recognizing the efforts of government when it comes to caring for internally displaced persons,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.

Rebuilding communities and helping displaced people is a big task, Valte said noting the government cannot extend one-time help and then leave communities that are still recovering.

“That is also a task that involves the national government, in cooperation with the local government, she said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Valte cited Sabah, when the government relocated a large number of Filipinos after Malaysia initiated a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The palace official also acknowledged the gargantuan task ahead, especially the sentiments of typhoon victims such as difficulty in accessing basic needs like electricity and water. The UN Rapporteur had similar observations.

“Marami pa talaga tayong kailangang gawin para doon sa ating mga kababayang nasalanta ng bagyong ‘Yolanda,’ and, of course, it’s a big task,” she said.

But the President continues the monitoring of government programs being implemented in Eastern Visayas, Valte said, adding that the President calls for frequent meetings with his Cabinet secretaries to see the development there.

Beyani, who visited Philippines from July 21 to 31, said the Philippine government must be commended with regard to its responses to Typhoon Yolanda.

It has shown leadership in putting in place institutional and policy structures and frameworks that have proved to be effective in the immediate crisis response period.

Through this difficult and challenging time the Philippines has developed much valuable experience to share with the international community and with specific States in all regions that may be affected by similar crises, he said.

“This experience can benefit us all as we collectively seek to strengthen our ability to prevent and respond to the effects of climate change related disasters that sadly seem to be ever more frequent,” he said in a statement.

He also recognized government policies like the ‘Build-Back-Better’ policy, which he said was designed not only to respond to disasters, but to mitigate the effects of future climate change induced displacement in the region that is prone to disasters. PND (as)