|31 Jan 2016|
|Japanese Imperial couple’s visit deepens friendship between Japan and Philippines|
| The state visit of Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in the country has strengthened the friendship and cooperation between the two countries, a Palace official said on Sunday.
The Imperial Couple left on Saturday after a five-day state visit, which also further deepened bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan in the years to come.
“The recently-concluded state visit of Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, has further strengthened the enduring ties of friendship and cooperation between the Japanese and Filipino peoples,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.
The state visit of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko was historic as it coincided with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines.
“We thank Their Majesties for their visit, which highlights the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Their Majesties personify their sterling qualities of magnanimity and heartfelt empathy that have touched and warmed the hearts of our people,” said Coloma.
Japan was the country’s top trading partner in 2014 and was its largest source of Official Development Assistance and Investment Promotion Agency-approved foreign investments.
Japan also provided assistance during Typhoon Yolanda and is helping the Philippines enhance its long-term disaster management capabilities.
During their five-day state visit, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko went to the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park and at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayari.
The Imperial Couple also visited the Technical Education Skills Development Authority’s Language Skills Institute in Taguig as well as the Japanese Memorial Garden in Caliraya and the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos – both in Laguna province. PND (jm)
|Palace official says government closely monitoring situation of OFW in Qatar|
|Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Sunday said the government is closely monitoring the situation of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Qatar following the implementation of a new labor policy on education requirements.
The Qatar’s Supreme Education Council has required a 12-year basic education, or a total of 16 years of education for the educational qualifications of foreign workers to be able to registered as professionals.
The new policy would affect around 12,000 Filipino engineers and architects, who cannot register with Qatar’s Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA)because they only have 10 years of basic education.
Coloma has assured that government is closely monitoring the situation of OFWs not only in Qatar but all over the world.
“Makatitiyak ang ating mga kababayan na hindi lamang sa Qatar kung hindi sa iba pang lugar na patuloy na naghahanda at naglalatag ang ating pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) ng mga kaukulang hakbang para tiyakin ‘yung kanilang kapakanan,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.
Coloma said he was informed by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz that representives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) are scheduled to meet with Qatari officials to discuss the matter.
“Ayon po kay Secretary Baldoz ay nakatakdang makipagpulong sa Minister of Education ng Qatar at sa Qatar Supreme Education Council ang ating mga senior official kabilang na si CHED Chairperson Secretary Patricia Licuanan at ang acting Chairperson ng Professional Regulation Commission Angeline Chua Chiaco hinggil sa usaping ito upang maihain sa mga kinatawan ng Qatar ang posisyon ng ating pamahalaan na nagbibigay suporta sa ating mga overseas Filipino workers,” said Coloma.
“Ganunpaman, nagpahayag ng kumpiyansa si Secretary Baldoz na ang ating mga overseas Filipino workers, partikular na ang mga inhinyero at arkitekto ay hindi naman seryosong maaapektuhan o ma-di-displace ng bagong patakaran dahil kung papansinsin natin, nagkaroon ng pagtaas pa sa pangangailangan ng Qatar para sa serbisyo ng ating mga manggagawa. Mula sa bilang na 85,000 noong 2014 ito ay tumaas na sa mahigit 104,000 in 2015, at hanggang sa kasalukuyan, ang ating Department of Labor and Employment ay hindi pa nakakatanggap ng ulat hinggil sa displacement ng ating mga manggagawa dahil sa bagong patakaran nito,” he added.
Last year, the Philippines began implementing the K-to-12 educational system, which is the recognized standard for students and professionals globally.
“Kaya nga masigasig ang ating pamahalaan sa pagpapatupad ng K-to-12 program, upang maipantay ang ating mga pamantayan o standard at ang ating mga kuwalipikasyon doon sa pandaigdigang pamantayan. Kilalanin natin na tayo ay kumikilos sa isang global economy at kailangang umayon ‘yung ating mga patakaran at pamantayan doon sa ipinaiiral sa ibang bansa para manatili tayong maging aktibong kalahok sa global economy,” Coloma explained. PND (jm)
|OPAPP told to continue consultations with stakeholders|
|The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has been ordered to continue consulting with stakeholders should the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) fail to make it the House of Representatives, a Palace official said on Sunday.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the instruction from President Aquino was course through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
“Through Executive Secretary (Paquito) Ochoa, the President has directed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to firm up in consultation with stakeholders an action plan for promoting the peace process in the transition period during the remainder of the current administration’s term and up to the assumption of the next administration,” said Coloma in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.
Coloma also noted the message he received from OPAPP head Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, saying there is a need to do consultations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“Ito ang pahayag ni Secretary Deles: “We will still need to do consultations including and especially with the MILF, but measures will include strengthening existing peace bodies and mechanisms to include the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, ceasefire and other joint security mechanisms, joint bodies for socio-economic interventions”,” said Coloma.
“We would want to operationalize the recommendations of the transitional justice and reconciliation commission regarding the healing of the wounds of war, and moving towards sharpened interfaith and multicultural dialogue and cooperation, and very important, undertaking the necessary groundwork to ensure the success of the legal political track in the next administration. We need to do all that is possible to ensure the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro beyond this administration,” Deles said as quoted by Coloma.
Coloma said the statement of Deles is consistent with President Aquino’s order.
“Ang dagdag na pahayag mula kay Secretary Deles na naaayon doon sa kautusan ni Pangulo na ipinahatid sa pamamagitan ni Executive Secretary Ochoa na ipagpatuloy ng OPAPP ‘yung konsultasyon at pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga stakeholders, at ‘yung masigasig na pagpapatupad ng mga aksyon na patuloy pang magtataguyod sa prosesong pangkapayapaan,” said Coloma. PND (jm)
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