February 15, 2015 – News Releases
|15 February 2015|
|Palace thanks private companies assisting families of slain 44 PNP-SAF Commandos|
| Malacanang thanked private companies who extended their assistance to the families of the 44 PNP-Special Action Force Commandos who died in the bloody Mamasapano clash last January 25.
In a radio interview on Saturday, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said many private companies went to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, the SAF headquarters, to extend financial assistance to the families of the slain commandos.
“Marami pa ring mga private companies—private initiatives to help them, and we also thank also the private sector for providing help and assistance,” he said in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“And like we said here in our press release that the government is also reaching out to the private sector to recommend the employment of relatives of the SAF troopers.”
With regards to the families in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, who were also affected by the encounter, Lacierda made an assurance that the Department of Social Welfare and Development will come in to help them.
“Kapag may gulong ganyan talagang ang DSWD pumapasok at tinitingnan kasi maraming nadi-displace. Ang tawag sa kanila…mga ‘internally displaced persons,'” he said.
What happened in Mamasapano is one of the ill effects of an armed conflict, Lacierda added.
“The DSWD, I know, is also doing their share in providing assistance to the displaced persons in the Mamasapano community,” he said.
Aside from the 44 casualties on the government side, the MILF reported having lost 18 combatants to the encounter. There were also reports of civilian casualties in Mamasapano as a result of the day-long fire fight. PND (as)
|DPWH to build P1.2 billion underpass in Makati City|
| The Department of Public Works and Highways announced the construction of the P1.2 billion Senator Gil Puyat Avenue-Makati Avenue-Paseo de Roxas Underpass Project in Makati City aimed at easing traffic congestion in the metropolis.
“Ang proyekto na nagkakahalaga ng humigit-kumulang sa 1.27-bilyong piso ay bahagi ng pangkalahatang programa upang maibsan ang paninikip ng daloy ng trapiko sa kalakhang Maynila. Inaasahang matatapos ang proyekto sa taong 2017,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview on Sunday.
Coloma told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan that the Makati underpass project, to commence this April, is one of the infrastructure projects approved by the President during the NEDA Board meeting last October. The project is slated to be carried out by the DPWH this year, he added.
Other approved projects include the construction of three grade separated interchanges in EDSA-North Avenue-West Avenue-Mindanao Avenue, Circumferential Road 5-Green Meadows-Calle Industria-Eastwood, and in EDSA-Roosevelt Avenue-Congressional Avenue. These projects are located in Quezon City.
The DPWH made the announcement so that commuters could do the necessary preparations because while the underpass is being constructed, they could expect heavy traffic in the area.
The DPWH will also coordinate with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to mitigate the impact of heavy flow of traffic to offices and businesses in Makati City, he said. PND (as)
|Government intensifies efforts to prevent spread of MERS-CoV|
| The government intensifies the monitoring of airports, seaports and other points of entry to prevent the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the country, the Palace said on Sunday.
In a radio interview, Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said that based on the latest reports of the Department of Health there is only one confirmed case of MERS-CoV in the country–the Filipino nurse who returned from Saudi Arabia last February 1.
“Tuloy-tuloy ang ginagawang pagmomonitor ng mga manggagamot ng RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) sa kalagayan ng nasabing pasyente,” Coloma told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.
“Dagdag pa rito, hindi rin tumitigil ang DOH sa pagtunton o contact tracing ng iba pang pasaherong lulan ng Saudi Airlines flight 860.”
According to the DOH last Friday, 92 individuals from the 220 passengers of the Saudi Airlines were contact traced by health officials.
The DOH also said that two of the passengers in the same flight is considered to be symptomatic of the virus and are currently under isolation, Coloma said.
The Palace also appealed for public cooperation to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Muli po kaming nananawagan sa ating mga mamamayan na sundin at tumalima sa mga paalalang pangkalusugan o health advisories ng DOH tungkol sa MERS-CoV,” Coloma said.
He also allayed public fears about the virus saying that according to the DOH and World Health Organization, MERS-CoV is not highly contagious and an infected person could only spread the disease through close contact with other individuals. PND (as)
|Palace assures public of commodity price stability despite impending oil price hike|
| The government will continue to monitor commodity prices as petroleum companies warned of an impending price hike this week following oil price movement in the global market.
In a radio interview over dzRB by Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government has been carrying out measures to prevent unreasonable adjustments in commodity prices.
But he mentioned today’s market realities noting commodity prices are driven by market forces and the government can’t do much about it.
“Hindi na po tayo dapat maligalig kapag nagaganap ito dahil batid din naman natin na sasapit ang panahon na bababa rin ‘yung presyo,” he said.
With regards to the movement of prices of basic commodities such as food and other supplies, he said the Department of Trade and Industry is monitoring the market situation.
The DTI said recently that it was able to trace traders and businessmen violating the law after failing to adjust their prices even after the continued drop in oil prices in the past several weeks.
“Kaya makakaasa po ang ating mga mamamayan na kung mayroong nagsasamantala ay pananagutin po sila nang naaayon sa batas,” Coloma said. PND (as)
|Security forces ready to foil attacks by Marwan’s supporters, say Malacanang|
| The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are ready to thwart any possible reprisal by the supporters of Abu Marwan after he was killed by a SAF operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao more than two weeks ago, the Palace said on Sunday.
“Patuloy ang mahigpit na pagmamanman at pagbabantay ng ating mga security authorities sa anumang banta sa seguridad ng buong bansa,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview on Sunday.
Coloma was asked by reporters what precautionary measures are being undertaken by the government to prevent such attacks by the terrorists after Marwan’s killing.
“Nananatiling nakaalerto ang buong Sandatahang Lakas at ang Pambansang Pulisya upang mapangalagaan ang katahimikan at kaligtasan ng ating mamamayan,” he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
Aside from the military and the police, the National Bureau of Investigation and other branches of the government’s security authorities remain on high alert, he added.
Coloma was also asked during the interview if the Palace will try to persuade lawmakers to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law in time despite the bloody clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Lawmakers, he said, are doing what they think is necessary–investigate to shed light on what happened in Maguindanao because the incident has a connection to the BBL being deliberated in Congress prior to the deadly encounter.
Congress has suspended its discussions on the BBL to find out what exactly happened in Mamasapano that killed 44 PNP-SAF commandos.
“Kaya dapat lang po sigurong bigyan natin ng pagkakataon na masagot lahat ng mga katanungang ito para magbigyang linaw ang mahahalagang usapin na pumapaloob sa Bangsamoro Basic Law,” he said.
Aside from Marwan, the SAF operation also targeted Basit Usman, a local bomb maker. Local officials of Maguindanao said Usman is injured and hiding in the province. PND (as)
|Palace condemns killing of Tagbilaran City radio commentator|
| The Palace condemned the killing of a radio commentator in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, saying the police are already running after the perpetrators.
“Nakikiisa ang pamahalaan sa pagkondena ng pagpaslang ng isang radio commentator ng dyRD sa Lungsod ng Tagbilaran sa Bohol na si Maurito Lim,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview.
“Kasalukuyan nang kumikilos ang mga lokal na awtoridad upang madakip at mapanagot ang may kagagawan ng krimen,” he said in an interview over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.
The government recognizes the role of the people in a democratic society that’s why the administration works with the members of the press to ensure their safety while doing their jobs, he said.
Lim, a local journalist who had been criticizing local officials linked to narcotics was killed in Tagbilaran City before noon Saturday, according to the Bohol police.
He was shot at around 10:35 a.m. in front of the dyRD radio station in Tagbilaran City by a still unidentified gunman who was on board a motorcycle, police said.
Lim was shot in the face and was rushed to the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, but died at around 1 p.m.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said Lim was the second journalists to be killed in Tagbilaran, and the 34th to be slain during the Aquino administration.
In October last year, President Benigno S. Aquino III said his administration will continue to work to stop attacks on members of the press. PND (as)
|Malacanang elated over Forbes magazine’s report making Philippines a top retirement destination|
| The Palace said it is elated by the Forbes magazine report that makes the Philippines one of the top retirement havens in the world.
“Ikinakagalak po natin ang pahayag na ito ng isang reputable na pahayagan, ang Forbes, at ito ay dapat na maging basehan upang tayo ay higit pang magpunyagi sa pagpapaganda ng investment climate sa ating bansa,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a radio interview on Sunday.
Coloma said Forbes’ ranking is based on different factors such as cost of living, taxes, medical care, climate, security and crime situation, cultural attractions and hospitality.
Forbes magazine puts the Philippines at 16th place of the Top 20 countries.
According to Forbes list of popular locations include Tagaytay, a suburb of Manila, that is elevated and therefore cooler, and Subic Bay, with an infrastructure from the old U.S. Navy base. Non-stop flights between Manila and the US average 15 hours.
Forbes’ recognition is being manifested in the uptick in tourist arrivals in the Philippines as noted by the Department of Tourism, he said.
Coloma said quoting the DOT, there were 4.83 million tourists who visited the country in 2014, an increase of 3.25 percent compared to 2013 tourist arrivals figure.
“At dahil din dito sa pagdami ng mga dumarating na turista, umabot ang ating tourism revenues sa halagang P214.8 bilyon sa kabuuan ng 2014,” he noted.
“At dahil dito, ibayong pagsisikap pa rin sa bahagi ng pamahalaan sa pangunguna ng Department of Tourism sa paggawa ng lahat ng nararapat para mapanatili ang pagiging attractive destination ng ating bansa.” PND (as)