December 04, 2015 – News Releases
|04 December 2015|
|President Aquino asks Filipinos in Italy to choose new president wisely|
|(ROME, Italy President Aquino asked on Thursday the members of the Filipino community in Italy to choose the right successor for the presidency during next year’s election to sustain the gains of his administration in the past five years.
In his meeting with the Filipino community here, the President said Filipinos must choose a new president who will selflessly serve the country and will protect the interest of Filipino citizens.The President likened the bond between the country’s leader and the Filipino public to the husband and wife relationship of his parents, the late senator Beningno Aquino Jr and the former president Corazon Aquino.
“Hinahanap natin ang katugma: Katugma ng puso, katugma ng pangarap, tugmang pagkakataon na may pinunong uunahin kayo at handa naman ninyong ambagan para marating ang mga adhikain natin,” he told Filipinos in his speech at the Ergife Palace Hotel here.
“Kapag po nangyari ‘yon, at kung nasa tamang lugar ang puso ng pinuno, ipapaglaban niya kayo at kakabanggain niya ang kahit sinong aapi sa inyo, dahil nabibigyan niyo siya ng lakas, dahil alam niyang kahit ano ang mangyari, nasa likod niya kayo.”
“At gaya nga po ng aking ama at ina, talaga pong anuman ang narating o mararating ng isang bansa ay dahil sa pagtutulungan, tiwala, at pagkakaisa ng pinuno at ng publikong kanyang pinaglilingkuran.”
The present government achieved a lot economically with some experts projecting that the Philippines will become a first world nation in a generation if the pace of the current economic growth is sustained, he said.
The Filipino public must scrutinize the candidates vying for the presidency, he said advising them not to support candidates who are tainted with corruption and those who do not have competence to govern and have poor human rights record.
But the President expressed his confidence that his bosses, the Filipino people, will choose the next president wisely.
“Ako po, tiwalang-tiwala sa inyong lahat, alam ninyo na ang pagpapatakbo ng bansa ay hindi pagandahan lang ng patalastas sa kampanya,” he said.
“Ang sa akin po: Binigyan niyo kami ng pagkakataon, at dinala natin ang Pilipinas sa kinalalagyan nito ngayon. Lahat tayo, naghirap at nag-ambagan para dito. Makatuwiran naman po sigurong isipin na wala na sa ating pipiling isugal ang pinaghirapan natin.”
The Filipinos dreamed and had started to realize those dreams, he said. The goal now is to preserve what the country has achieved in the last five years, build on those successes and prevent itself from reverting back to uncertainty, he added.
“Totoong-totoo po: Tayo ang gumawa ng pagbabago. Tayo ang nangahas mangarap, tayo ang tumupad sa ating mga pangarap, at tayo ngayon ang aabot ng mas matatayog pang pangarap,” he said.
The President arrived here December 1 for a 4-day visit to Rome and Vatican. On Wednesday, he met Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
He is scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday morning before flying back to Manila in the afternoon. PND (as)
|President Aquino reports achievements to Filipinos in Italy|
|(ROME, Italy) President Aquino brought good news to Filipinos in Italy saying good governance and efforts towards economic inclusivity have already started to pay off.
In meeting the Filipino community here Thursday, the president said that the Philippines is no longer the “sick man of Asia” but rather the “new darling of Asia” because of its sustained high economic growth.
“Last week lang, nakapagtala muli tayo ng six percent GDP growth para sa third quarter ng taon,” he told the members of the Filipino community in a meeting at the Ergife Palace Hotel.
The government’s economic managers even made a fourth-quarter forecast that the country’s GDP growth will even be higher, he said.
The country has an average annual GDP growth of 6.2 percent, its highest five-year average growth in almost four decades, he noted.
As more investors come in, additional jobs are created in the country resulting to a stronger purchasing power of Filipinos.
And this reflects in the increasing car and condominium units sales in the country, the President said. In 2014, cars sales increased to 27 percent or 270,000 new cars were sold, he said.
This result to congestion in the urban centers but the President said his administration already has ongoing infrastructure projects as well as a mass transport system to address this problem.
In the education sector, the government has already addressed the 66,800 classrooms backlogs in the country.
All in all, the administration eyes to build 180,000 classrooms before he steps down from power next year, according to the President.
On social welfare and healthcare, the President reported that starting from some 786,523 households covered by the conditional cash transfer program, it was expanded to 4.4 million households.
The program provides better maternal and child care as well as opens up job opportunities for beneficiaries under the program.
The government also widened PhilHealth coverage under the government’s Universal Healthcare agenda, President Aquino said.
From 51 percent in 2010, the government expanded the coverage to 88 percent in June 2015, providing better health services especially to poor Filipinos.
The administration also made major strides in upgrading the country’s defense and security capability, he said.
The President told Filipinos in Italy that the first two of the 12 FA-50 fighter jets from South Korea arrived last weekend with the remaining deliveries to be completed until 2017.
The members of the Philippine National Police also received new weapons and equipment, he said. This improves the pistol-to-policeman ratio of the country’s police force.
“Ang lahat po ng tagumpay at proyektong ito, hindi bara-barang isinasagawa. Bahagi ito ng isang malawakang istratehiya para maabot ang hangarin nating inclusive growth,” he said in his speech.
“Nagagawa po ang lahat ng ito sa masinop na paggugol ng pondo, para ang pera ng taumbayan, mapunta sa taumbayan lamang. Ang bunga nito: Naaabot ng Pilipino ang kanyang mga pangarap.”
Among those who accompanied the President include Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose Emilio Abaya, NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr and Presidential Management Staff chief Julia Abad. PND (as)
|President Aquino meets with Filipino community in Rome|
|(ROME, Italy) The encouraging stories of Filipinos whose lives have improved under his watch are enough reasons for President Benigno S. Aquino III to forget all the negativism that have plagued his administration.
President Aquino issued the statement Thursday evening (Central European Time) during his traditional ‘Meeting with the Filipino Community’ event held at the Ergife Palace Hotel here.
In a speech that lasted for over half an hour, President Aquino told Filipinos working here that there are “good news” in the Philippines, although these often do not get the headline treatment from the media.
He cited in particular the steady 6 percent average economic growth, ongoing infrastructure works, improvement in the manufacturing sector, and increased employment rate as among the significant developments in the country.
Halfway through his speech, President Aquino played a 90-second video clip of Norashia Binatac, a sixth grader, who spoke of how her farmer parents benefited from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that helped support her education.
President Aquino mentioned as well the community in Apayao, which is now taking advantage of some of the completed road projects leading to hospitals in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The Chief Executive stated that the Philippines right now is a far cry from what it was before, as many of our countrymen are being given opportunities to complement their hard work and help them achieve their full potential.
“Ngayon po, nabigyang-ayuda ng estado itong si Norashia, at tingnan naman ninyo kung gaano karaming medalya ang isinasabit sa kanya,” President Aquino told a roomful of audience estimated at 500.
“Para bang sulit po ang lahat ng batikos, panlalait, insultong tinanggap ko dahil mayroong mga ganitong nabibigyan talaga ng pagkakataon. Pwede na rin ho ‘yong kapalit ng lahat ng negatibismong natanggap ko para lang mabigyan sila ng pagkakataon,” he added.
President Aquino’s meeting with the Filipino community in Rome caps off his two-day working visit in Italy. Culminating his six-day European trip will be a private meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican City on Friday. PND (hdc)
|President Aquino declares December 7 a special holiday in Municipality of Virac, Catanduanes|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued a proclamation declaring December 7 (Monday) a special non-working day in the Municipality of Virac, Catanduanes in celebration of “Kaaldawan nin Virac”.President Aquino signed Proclamation No. 1170 last November 26.
“The Municipality of Virac, Catanduanes marks the celebration of the “Kaaldawan nin Virac” on Monday, 7 December 2015,” the President said in issuing the proclamation.
x”It is but fitting and proper that the people of the Municipality of Virac, Catanduanes be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” the Chief Executive added. PND (co)
|President Aquino joins unveiling of Our Lady of Penafrancia’s image at Vatican Gardens|
|(VATICAN CITY) President Aquino attended the unveiling and blessing on Friday of the mosaic image of Our Lady of Penafrancia in the Vatican Gardens here.
In his message during the event, the President underscored the importance of the Vatican Gardens to the Catholic faith for many decades.
“For centuries, this has been a place of refuge for Catholics, and standing within it now, I am not surprised that it has brought serenity and guidance to so many members of the Church,” he said.
“Seeing the various titles of the Blessed Virgin reminds me of how she has become a tangible sign of unity and of universality.”
“Thus, I am thankful that, today, the mosaic image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia—who we affectionately call “Ina” which means “mother” in our native tongue—will be unveiled and blessed in this garden.”
The image is a symbol of the nation’s deep bond with the Virgin Mary, who has protected Filipinos during many of their darkest moments, he said.
In 1986, when millions of Filipinos came together to peacefully overthrow the Marcos dictatorship, they most prominently gathered under the image of the Virgin Mary.
Also, the President said there was the comfort that Our Lady of Peñafrancia bestowed on the family of Jesse Robredo, a reliable member of his Cabinet who died in a plane crash three years ago.
Robredo, a devotee of Our Lady of Penafrancia, shared a home with “Ina,” having been born in Naga City.
Friday’s event at the Vatican is a recognition of the Philippine Marian devotion and it is a great blessing for all Filipino Catholics, he said.
“We are grateful to the Holy See for allowing us to share this devotion with the rest of the Catholic world who embark on pilgrimages to the Vatican, who can now stop and reflect in front of the mosaic image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia,” according to the President.
“It is also a constant reminder for the Filipinos who find their way onto this Holy Land that, far though they may be from their homes, we are bound together by our roots, and by the faith we share.”
The Our Lady of Peñafrancia, fondly called “Ina” (Mother) by millions of devotees, is the official patroness of the Bicol Region since 1924 and is highly revered for her blessings of healing.”
The image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, currently enshrined at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City presents the Blessed Virgin Mary carrying the baby Jesus.
Created by Itallian mosaicist Roberto Cassio, the mosaic image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, was installed in the Vatican Gardens to join other images of the Blessed Virgin Mary contributed by other countries.
The Philippines is the 10th country to have its own nationally venerated image of the Virgin Mary installed in the Vatican Gardens.
The images provide the chance for pilgrims from around the world to discover the various devotions to the Virgin Mary in different countries. PND (as)
|President Aquino meets Pope Francis, Cardinal Parolin in Vatican|
|(VATICAN CITY) President Benigno S. Aquino III met with His Holiness Pope Francis Friday morning at the Apostolic Palace to end his three-state European trip on a spiritual note.
A line of Swiss guards and Vatican authorities welcomed President Aquino and his official delegation upon their arrival at the Courtyard of Saint Damascus in the vicinity of St. Peter’s Square.
President Aquino said the feeling is ‘hard to explain’ when asked by members of the Philippine media delegation to describe how his meeting with Pope Francis went and what did he pray for during his encounter with him.
“Siguro, ang importante, gusto kong ipakiusap lang na ipagdasal natin siya at sa lahat ng kasama sa delegation inulit niya ‘yung mensaheng ‘yon,” the President said in a press briefing held at Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria hotel.
“‘Pag kaharap natin ang Papa ay humihingi tayo ng bendisyon, humihiling tayo na ipagdasal tayo, pero siya ‘yon lang ang kaisa-isang, kumbaga, ang mensahe sa atin na ipagdasal natin siya. So, sa inyong tulong, sana makarating sa ating mga kababayan,” he told reporters.
Press Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the meeting lasted for about 45 minutes and took place inside the Pope’s library where the two leaders talked briefly and had the opportunity to exchange presents with each other.
President Aquino brought Pope Francis a bone china tea set made by Filipino designer Ito Kish and a box of fresh Philippine mangoes. The tea set is composed of white cups and saucers with iconic Filipino emblems such as the nipa hut, carabao, and coconut tree.
Pope Francis, in turn, gave the visiting Philippine head of state a bronze sculpture and copies of his latest encyclical on the protection of the environment dubbed as the “Laudato si’” and his apostolic exhortation called “Evangelli Gaudium.”
Secretary Coloma described the details of the bronze sculpture as having “an olive branch holding two halves of a cleft rock with the words ‘to seek what unites, to overcome what divides’ inscribed in it.”
“The sculpture is a metaphor for the duty of every state and person to build a culture of peace,” Secretary Coloma said, while President Aquino attributed its significance to the ideas of being conciliatory and consensus builder.
President Aquino’s reciprocal visit with the Supreme Pontiff came days after the latter went on an apostolic journey to Africa where he visited the nations of Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic.
Shortly after his encounter with the Pope, President Aquino met with the Vatican Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin for about half an hour. Through him the Chief Executive extended another invitation for the Holy Father to revisit Manila.
“They understand that the invitation is open but hindi niya sinabing pupunta siya sa atin. Ang klaro napakarami niyang kailangang puntahan pang ibang lugar,” President Aquino told members of the Philippine media delegation in an interview.
Pope Francis already made a state visit and apostolic journey to the Philippines last January, which was highlighted by a Eucharistic celebration in Leyte province for the survivors of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (Haiyan).
He also held a special mass in Luneta where six to seven million people showed up, becoming the largest papal event in history, as it surpassed the number of attendees during the 1995 World Youth Day in the same venue led by Pope Saint John Paul II.
“Sinabi ko lang sa Papa na just with that one visit and even the anticipation of his visit to the country seemed like the church was revitalized and continues to be revitalized,” President Aquino said. PND (hdc)