|13 January 2015|
|President Aquino appeals for ‘Bayanihan’ to ensure people’s safety during Papal visit|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday evening made a televised appeal to the public to work together to ensure everyone’s safety during the upcoming pastoral visit of Pope Francis.
“Kailangan natin ng pagdadamayan at pagbabayanihan. Malinaw na napakalaki ng hamong dala ng pagbisitang ito ni Pope Francis sa ating bansa. Nakataya rito ang kaligtasan niya, ng napakaraming dadalo sa kanyang mga gawain at mag-aabang sa kanya,” President Aquino said.
Showing video clips of past attacks on Popes, such as when Pope John Paul II was attacked inside the Vatican, the President noted that even without a terrorist threat, danger looms in large gatherings of people.
As millions of Filipinos are expected to attend the Mass to be celebrated by the Pontiff in Luneta on Sunday, President Aquino said he fears that the mere eagerness of the people to catch a glimpse of the Pope could start a commotion that could turn into chaos.
“Obligasyon ng gobyerno ang inyong kaligtasan, at para magampanan ang tungkuling ito ay may obligasyon din kayo,” he said, adding that in the next few days, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas and Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista will issue bulletins regarding security preparations during the Papal visit.
“Ang panawagan po namin: Makinig po tayo, at makiisa sa pagbabahagi ng impormasyon. Ipakita po natin ang pakikisama at pagtutulungan, nang matiyak nating magiging mataimtim at mapayapa ang pagbisita ni Pope Francis sa ating bansa,” he said. PND (ag)
|Government to consider welfare of OFWs in imposing new policy on airport terminal fees|
| The government will take into consideration the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) when it carries out new policies, such as integrating terminal fees into the airplane tickets of airline passengers, a Palace official said Tuesday.
Authorities have announced that effective February 1, an integrated terminal fee will be imposed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).
“Isinasaalang-alang ng pamahalaan ang kabutihan at kapakanan ng mga libu-libong overseas Filipino workers, mga Pilipino na nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa at malaki ang ambag sa ating pambansang ekonomiya,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing.
Secretary Coloma noted that if there are concerns from certain sectors regarding the issue of integrated terminal fees, they could raise them properly to concerned authorities.
“Isa riyan ang pagkakaroon ng pagdinig sa ating Kongreso at ito ay magsisilbing pagkakataon para bigyan ng liwanag kung bakit nagsasagawa ng mga bagong patakaran,” he said.
“Kaya sa lahat ng pagkakataon, anuman ang mangyari, ang pangunahin pa ring konsiderasyon ay ang kapakanan ng ating mga manggagawa.”
A number of opposition lawmakers said OFWs would be the hardest hit by MIAA’s decision to integrate terminal fees into the price of airline tickets starting next month.
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares said the integration of terminal fees violates Republic Act 10022 or the amended Migrant Workers’ Act of 1995, which exempts OFWs from paying the fee. PND (as)
|Palace to politicians using Papal visit for political gain: Find another time for grandstanding|
| The Palace on Tuesday told politicians who plan to use the apostolic visit of Pope Francis for grandstanding purposes, to find another occasion to do so.
In a press briefing in Malacañang, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the focus of the visit should be on the Pope and no one else.
“Mainam po na sa pagdalaw ng Santo Papa ang pangunahing pokus, ang sentral na atensyon ay matutuon mismo sa Mahal na Santo Papa at ‘yung ibang mga naghahangad na maging prominente din ang pagkakilala sa kanila, mas mainam siguro na pumili na lang sila ng ibang okasyon,” he said when asked if the Palace has any message to politicians who intend to use the Papal visit for their political gain.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Manila and Tacloban City, Leyte from Thursday to Monday. The Pontiff is currently in Sri Lanka the first leg of his two-country Asian tour.
Meanwhile, Coloma said the Palace is still gathering data to determine the total expenditure for the Papal visit.
“Hanggang sa ngayon ay kinakalap pa ‘yung mga datos. Pansinin natin na maraming ahensiya ng pamahalaan ang involved dito,” he explained, noting that some of the preparations being made, such as road repair, are part of the agencies’ regular expenses.
“At tulad ng ating nabanggit noong nakaraan, hindi naman ito lalayo sa makatwiran at resonableng antas ng paggugol na sinusunod sa tuwing may dadalaw na katulad ng Mahal na Santo Papa,” he added. PND (ag)
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