16 December 2015

Palace aims for more ‘tangible’ goals despite good survey results
Malacañang opted to remain grounded in aiming for the “tangible benefits” of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s regime of good governance, as it welcomed the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) public satisfaction survey on his performance.

An opinion poll conducted by the SWS last week showed that 58 percent among 1,200 Filipino adults nationwide, are satisfied with President Aquino, 26 percent thought otherwise, while 16 percent were undecided for a net satisfaction rating of +32.

Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. recognized these results, which remained “good” per SWS terminology, noting that the government’s poverty alleviation and social development programs have factored in the decision of the public.

“We note that the President’s net satisfaction ratings remained ‘Good’ on socio-economic classes ABC and E at +44 and +45, respectively while registering a ‘Moderate’ rating of +28 for class D,” Secretary Coloma said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“We note further that socio-economic Class E constitutes the main benefactors of the government’s poverty alleviation and social development programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps,” he added.

Coloma said President Aquino is determined to deliver on all the priority reform and development programs in the remaining seven months of his term and is committed to continue serving in the best possible manner, as he views the presidency as a covenant with the people.

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda described the survey figures as “historically high” and found it “encouraging” but said they would rather measure the success of the Aquino administration “by other metrics that reflect the quality of life of our citizens”.

“The Aquino administration continues to do its work not for survey results but toward the more tangible benefits of good governance—poverty alleviation, job increase, and economic expansion,” Secretary Lacierda said in a separate statement.

Recent reports of underemployment decreasing to 17.6 percent and unemployment dropping to its lowest level at 5.7 percent in a decade have supported these goals, Lacierda said, besides the 6 percent growth of the economy in the previous quarter.

He also noted that initial results of a study conducted on the beneficiaries of the 4Ps show that 1.4 million households have already been able to rise above the poverty line as a result of the program.

“Indeed, the administration’s guiding principle of Daang Matuwid is truly oriented toward the Filipino people. Grounded in service, the administration constantly works to maximize gains for both present and future generations of Filipinos,” Lacierda said.

“Moving forward, we will continue to work toward realizing the dream of every citizen: to have a more peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive Philippines,” the Palace official concluded. PND (hdc)

Congress to exert effort to pass draft Bangsamoro Law in January, says Palace
Leaders of Congress have assured that they will exert all efforts to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) when sessions resume in January after their month-long holiday break, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

In a statement, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the government is closely coordinating with Congress to thresh out concerns about the measure.

“We have been informed by Congress leaders that efforts will be exerted to pass the BBL when Congress resumes its sessions in January,” he said.

The House of Representatives is set to adjourn its session on December 19 and resume on January 19.

During his meeting with legislators in Malacañang last December 8, President Benigno S. Aquino III urged them to pass the BBL before Congress goes on holiday break.

During the meeting, the President asked the lawmakers to rise to the challenge of being able to “change the narrative”, referring to the cycle of violence and poverty that has stalled peace and progress in Mindanao.

The proposed BBL was originally transmitted to both the House of Representatives and the Senate in September 2014. The measure seeks to establish a new autonomous entity to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. PND (co)

President Aquino declares December 18 a special holiday in Tuguegarao City
President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued a proclamation declaring December 18 (Friday) a special non-working day in the City of Tuguegarao in celebration of its 16th Charter Day.

President Aquino signed last December 11 Proclamation No. 1179, which gives the people of Tuguegarao City an opportunity to celebrate the occasion.

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Tuguegarao be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” the proclamation states. PND (co)

Palace expects Comelec to stick to timetable as Supreme Court junks petition against ‘No Bio, No Boto’ policy
The Palace welcomed the resolution of the Supreme Court (SC) dismissing the petition filed against the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) ‘No Bio, No Boto’ policy, saying it expects the electoral body to respond to the SC ruling to ensure a timely election next year.

“We leave it to the Comelec’s best judgment, as an independent constitutional body, on how to proceed in the light of the Supreme Court ruling, in terms of ensuring that preparations for the holding of the May 2016 elections are in place in accordance with its timetable,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Comelec also welcomed the SC’s junking of the petition against its ‘No Bio, No Boto’ policy, saying the decision will enable the body to finalize the list of voters and Project of Precincts (POPs).

With the SC ruling, the Comelec does not have to revise the POPs, a task that involves putting back the names of millions of voters without biometrics.

The poll body said those who have not validated their biometrics could do so after the May elections so that they can still vote in the barangay elections.

The Comelec assured that there will be sufficient time for these voters to do their biometrics validation after May 2016.

The SC en banc also unanimously voted to dismiss the petition filed by the Kabataan Party-List to declare the ‘No Bio, No Boto’ policy as unconstitutional.

The High Court also lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued, which the Comelec said could affect their preparations for next year’s elections if it were to adjust the POPs by about 2.5 million voters without biometrics. PND (as)