August 18, 2015 – News Releases
|18 August 2015|
|President Aquino attends commemoration of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo’s 3rd death anniversary|
| (NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday morning attended the ceremony to commemorate the third death anniversary of former interior secretary, Jesse Robredo.
President Aquino was welcomed by Robredo’s wife Congresswoman Maria Leonor Robredo, their daughters Jillian Therese, Jessica Marie, and Janine Patricia, and Naga City Mayor John Bongat.
The President lit a candle and offered a prayer at Robredo’s tomb, shortly after arriving at the Eternal Garden in Balatas Road, Barangay Balatas here at 9:44 a.m.
He then proceeded to the City Hall Grounds for the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum.
A Mass was earlier celebrated in honor of Robredo, who served as Naga City’s mayor for six terms. Present at the Mass were Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Health Secretary Janette Garin, and Albay Governor Joey Salceda.
On August 18, 2012, Robredo was on his way back to Naga City from a conference in Cebu City, when the small aircraft he was riding in crashed in the sea near the coast of Masbate province. He was 54. PND (ag)
|President Aquino pays tribute to the late Interior Secretary Robredo|
| (NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday paid tribute to former interior and local government secretary, Jesse Robredo, saying the best way to honor him is to continue his legacy.
“Tunay nga po na ang pinakamagandang pasasalamat na maibibigay natin kay Jesse at sa iba pang dakilang taong nauna sa kanya ay ang pagpapatuloy at pagpapaunlad sa mga iniwan nila sa atin,” the President said in his speech during the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum, held at the City Hall Grounds here in commemoration of the third anniversary of his death.“Sa pamamagitan ng kanilang buhay, pagkamatay, at mga sakripisyo ay ipinakita nila sa atin kung ano ang posible. At sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng mga posible ay nasisiguro nilang mas maganda ang pagsisimulan natin kaysa sa kanilang dinatnan. Nararapat lang na suklian natin ito ng sariling pagsisikap at pagmamalasakit sa mga susunod sa atin,” he said.
President Aquino described Robredo as a true scion of Naga.
“Nakita niya ang mga problema ng mga Nagueño at tinanong niya: Bakit kailangang maging ganito? Iniwan niya ang kanyang komportableng buhay sa pribadong sektor para simulan ang paglilingkod sa kanyang mga kababayan,” he said.
He remembered Robredo as someone who would go wherever he was needed, and one who would speak to whoever he needed to speak to, without any hesitation.
“Kung saan siya kailangan, doon siya nagpupunta. Kapag may bagyo, kahit gaano kataas ang baha, isusuot niya ang kanyang tsinelas at bibisita sa mga nasalanta. Kung sino ang dapat kausapin, sila ang kinakausap niya. Walang bola, walang pamumulitika. Kahit mga jueteng lord o drug lord, o sariling kamag-anak, hindi siya nagdalawang-isip na banggain dahil alam niyang siya ay nasa tama,” he said.
President Aquino noted that Robredo’s political rivals did not deter him from practising good governance.
“Nang makita ng kanyang mga kalaban na isa siyang malaking hadlang sa kanilang mga pansariling interes, nagbato sila ng kung anu-anong isyu. Pati nga ang pagka-Pilipino niya, kinukuwestiyon nila. Pero malinaw sa mga taga-Naga kung ano ang nararapat para sa kanila. Paulit-ulit nilang pinili ang matuwid na pamamahala. Napatunayan ni Jesse at ng mga mamamayan ng Naga na Hindi kinakailangang maging madumi ang pulitika na puwedeng makamit ang mga layunin nang hindi isinasakripisyo ang mga prinsipyo,” he said of the former Naga City mayor.
Thanking Robredo, the President said, “Jesse, maraming salamat sa mga repormang nagawa at sinimulan mo, at sa patuloy na pagiging inspirasyon sa amin sa partido at sa ating mga kababayan.”
Robredo, in his six terms as mayor, had turned Naga from being a third-class municipality into a first-class city.
He was also the first Filipino mayor to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000.
Robredo died in a plane crash off Masbate province on August 18, 2012. He was 54. PND (ag)
|Transport Secretary hopes for immediate approval of project to redesign Naga City Airport|
| Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Tuesday he is expecting the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board to approve the P3.5-billion project to redesign the Naga City Airport in Camarines Sur province, to reduce the airfares paid by travelers.
The Naga Airport could not accommodate wide-bodied aircraft due to its short runway and its close proximity to Mount Isarog.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) plans to build a two-kilometer runway to accommodate larger planes, such as the Airbus A320, Secretary Abaya said during the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum, held at the City Hall Grounds in Naga, in commemoration of former interior secretary Robredo’s third death anniversary.
“Karamihan naman ng miyembro ng NEDA Board ay narito, so alam na natin kung anong boto nila,” Abaya said during the forum, which was also attended by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
“Kaya maipapasa at mailulunsad natin ito. Iyon lang, aabutin din ito ng mga two years of construction,” he said, noting that construction could start in 2017 once the detailed engineering design is done.
He said the project is the DOTC’s contribution to the people of Naga City, which is part of the administration’s Daang Matuwid agenda.
Once the project is completed, wide-bodied airplanes could land in Naga City and this could cut airfares by half, Abaya said. PND (as)
|South rail to be operational by 2021, says transport secretary|
| Bicolanos could expect an operational railway service by 2021, once the P170.7-billion South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP) is completed, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Tuesday.
Secretary Abaya, who accompanied President Benigno S. Aquino III in Naga City, Camarines Sur province for the 3rd death anniversary of former Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo, said the pre-qualification process will be held this October for those interested to bid for the 600-kilometer South Rail project.
He said he expects the project to be awarded in March next year.
The North-South Railway Project extends from Bicol to Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
“Tingin ko mas importante sa inyo ‘yung southern version,” Abaya said during the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum.
“Pero sa inyo pong mga taga-Bicol, ito ay magmumula sa Tutuban at dadaan ng Calamba, bababa ng Legazpi, may extension sa Matnog. May extension din po ito papuntang Batangas.”
Responding to criticisms regarding delays in the approval of major infrastructure projects, Abaya said the railway project is a huge project and will take time to implement.
“These are strategic, very important and inclusive projects. Ang detailed engineering design lang po ay aabutin ng 15 to 18 months,” he explained.
“Kumplikadong proyekto at malaki po ito. But construction will start in 2017. It is a four-year period to construct. So by 2021, we are confident that this railway will be operational.”
The Department of Transportation and Communications has said that the winning bidder will operate, maintain, and upgrade the South Line for 34 years, including the construction period of four years.
The NSRP’s South Line is the ninth transportation Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project offered under the Aquino administration. PND (as)
|President Aquino: People will decide on continuity of the conditional cash transfer program|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday reminded the public to choose a leader who will continue the government’s conditional cash transfer program, also known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which has benefitted millions of families.
Speaking at the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum held in Naga City, Camarines Sur province to commemorate the third death anniversary of the former interior secretary, President Aquino stressed the need to study the respective platforms of the candidates for next year’s elections.
“Meron hong nagsasabing itutuloy, ang Pantawid Pamilya. Meron namang tumutuligsa sa Pantawid Pamilya. Kung gusto mong ipagpatuloy ‘yung 4Ps e, tulungan mo ‘yung tutulong na magpatuloy ang 4Ps kesa doon sa nagsasabing itigil ang 4Ps,” said the President, who was accompanied by some of his Cabinet members during the trip.
“Lahat ng kandidatong haharap sa inyo sa susunod na taon may plataporma. Suriin niyo ‘yung plataporma. May kailangan kayo, mayroon kayong tama at lehitimong pangangailangan. Iparating niyo sa kanila at pakinggan niyo ang sagot. Kung hindi angkop ‘yung sagot, bakit ninyo iboboto? Kung tama ‘yung sagot, tulungan ninyo,” he said.
President Aquino said the conditional cash transfer program began with 800,000 families as beneficiaries and has grown to cover 4.4 million families.
He said that more than 300,000 make up the first batch of high school graduates, 13,000 of them with honors.
“Malaki talaga ang ginastos na natin diyan sa programang ‘yan. In the five years that we have been in office, over 260 billion pesos has been spent on this program. Pero simpleng-simple lang ho ang paniwala ko. Ang sabi ng tatay ko sa akin noong araw, kapag pinag-aral ka at natuto ka, habang buhay ready ka na, mangyari na ang mangyayari. So, gusto kong ibigay ang pagkakataon sa lahat. ‘Yung ating bottom 20 percent ng population ang nakikinabang nito,” he added.
“Hindi ba sulit ‘yon na ipagpatuloy ng gobyerno ito sa pahintulot ng taumbayan, benepisyong diretso sa taumbayan, tapos nakakabawi rin ang gobyerno dahil sa buwis na binabayad ng mga mas maganda na ang trabahong pinasukan, nabibigyan natin ang susunod na salinlahi naman ng pagkakataon,” said the President.
In parting, the Chief Executive said, “Pagtulungan natin kung saan natin gustong pumunta at bibilis ang pagpunta natin doon.” PND (jm)
|Palace says it remains steadfast in fighting corruption|
| Malacañang on Tuesday renewed its commitment to fight graft and corruption after the Supreme Court (SC) granted the bail petition of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
“Government is determined to pursue its anti-corruption campaign in a sustained manner. This steadfast commitment is not dependent on the outcome of any particular case,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement.
“We shall leave it up to the Office of the Ombudsman, as an independent and separate body of the government, to undertake the necessary action with regards to the High Court’s decision.”
Members of the SC voted 8-4 on Tuesday, granting Senator Enrile’s motion to reverse the Sandiganbayan Third Division’s ruling denying his bail plea.
The high court set the bail at P1 million.
In his petition, Enrile argued he is not a flight risk, and that the prosecution has not established strong evidence of guilt to deny him bail. The court should consider his advanced age and voluntary surrender, he said.
Enrile, 91, is one of three senators accused of plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam.
He has been under hospital arrest at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital. PND (as)