|02 July 2015|
|China must uphold the declaration on the conduct of parties it signed in 2002, says Palace|
| Following Beijing’s statement that they have completed some of their land reclamation in the South China Sea, the Palace on Thursday said China must uphold what it signed back in 2002.
“Kahit ano po ang kanilang bigkasing pahayag sa kasalukuyan, kinakailangang panagutan po nila ang kanilang idineklara noong 2002. Doon po sa Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, nilagdaan po ito ng China at ng mga miyembro ng ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations),” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. told reporters during a press briefing in Malacañang.
“Isinasaad diyan na igagalang ang umiiral na sitwasyon. Isinasaad din na hindi dapat pakialaman ang mga umiiral na features sa South China Sea,” he added.
On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a daily briefing that land reclamation projects on some islands and reefs in the South China Sea had been completed “in recent days”.
“‘Di po ba ito ay malinaw na hindi pagsunod sa sarili nilang deklarasyon noong 2002. Kaya kung sabihin man po nilang tapos na o ititigil na o hindi na itutuloy, hindi pa rin mapapabulaanan ang nauna na nilang paglabag sa deklarasyon noong 2002,” explained Secretary Coloma.
Paragraph 5 of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea states: “The Parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features and to handle their differences in a constructive manner.”
Then Chinese Special Envoy and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi signed the declaration for the Republic of China.
Coloma further said that for its part, the Philippines has suspended improvements on the military airstrip on Pagasa Island.
“Mahalaga pa ring ipunto dito na ang hinahangad po natin ay ang mapayapa, rules-based at diplomatikong solusyon. Kaya itinigil po natin ang mga repair activities kahit mismo doon sa Pag-asa Island, upang ipakita na tinototoo po natin ang ating mga deklarasyon,” he added.He noted that the support the Philippines has gained from the international community proves that it is on the right track in pursuing its stand to uphold the rule of law in resolving the dispute.
“Ang pinakamatingkad na reyalidad ay hindi na tayo nag-iisa, at dahil hindi tayo nag-iisa, dumarami din ang mga option o mga kaparaanang bumukas sa mga bansang naniniwala na dapat pairalin ang rule of law,” said Coloma. PND (ag)
|Palace disputes Vice President Binay’s allegations of inefficiency|
| Malacañang on Thursday refuted Vice President Jejomar Binay’s claim that the present administration has failed the Filipino people.
During the launch of his political party on Wednesday, Vice President Binay accused the administration of being lazy, slow and indecisive.
In response, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement that President Benigno S. Aquino III’s government has fostered the Filipino people’s welfare through good governance.
“Masipag, maagap at masinop ang gobyerno sa pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan,” Secretary Coloma said.
“Pinaghahandaan ang krisis at kalamidad bago pa man ito sumapit upang tiyakin ang kaligtasan at kapakanan ng sambayanan.”
Giving several examples, Coloma said the government has put in place measures that would help ensure the people’s safety when calamities strike.
“Di ba’t ngayon bago pa dumating ang malakas na bagyo ganap na ang kahandaan ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) para harapin ang panganib ng kalamidad upang matamo ang layuning zero casualties, katuwang ang mga local disaster risk reduction councils?” he said.
He noted that the weather forecasts made by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) have become more accurate, owing to the modern equipment acquired by the government.
He also cited the role of Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) in helping prevent and mitigate disasters.
Coloma further said that because of the government’s prudent spending, the Department of Public Works and Highways has saved P49 billion in the construction of major infrastructure projects.
“Bukod sa pagiging masipag, maagap at masinop, ang pamahalaang Aquino ay nag-ukol ng pinakamataas na prayoridad sa pagpapaangat ng antas ng kabuhayan ng mga mamamayan,” he said.
To fight poverty, the Aquino government has allocated a huge chunk of the 2015 national budget – almost 37 percent or nearly P1 trillion — for social development and poverty reduction, he said.
Coloma explained that to attain its goal that “no one, especially the poor and the vulnerable, should be left behind”, the government expanded the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
“Sa halip na ‘ala tsamba’ o ‘trickle-down effect’, tuwirang tinugunan ng pamahalaan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan sa edukasyon, kalusugan, hanapbuhay at pabahay,” he said.
“Nagbunga na ang mga pagpupunyaging ito habang patuloy pang pinaiigting ang pagsisikap na makamit ang pag-unlad ng nakararami o inclusive growth.”
Recent surveys have shown the positive results of these initiatives, he said, citing a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) last May that noted a decrease of 800,000 families experiencing involuntary hunger.
In terms of generating employment, Coloma said the country’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in January 2015 from 7.5 percent in 2014.
The number of overseas Filipino workers also decreased from 10 million to 8.4 million, he added.
“Bumaba na rin ang bilang ng mga kabataang hindi nakakapag-aral. Sa isang pananaliksik ng Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) at UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), bumaba ang insidente ng out-of-school children, sa pagitan ng limang taong gulang hanggang labing-limang taong gulang, ng higit sa kalahati mula 11.7 percent tungo sa 5.2 percent,” he said. “Dagdag pa rito, ang antas ng pre-primary students ay tumaas mula 35 percent tungo sa 48 percent at karamihan ay mula sa mga pamilyang tinaguriang ‘headed by poorly educated individuals’. Ito ay patunay na naging epektibo ang mga programa ng gobyerno na tulad ng 4Ps, CCT at K-to-12.”
Coloma assured that in its remaining year in office, the administration will continue to implement reforms to strengthen public institutions.
“Ang gobyerno ay TUNAY na nasa kamay ng mga Boss. Batay sa prinsipyo ng mabuting pamamahala, mayroon tayong gobyernong bukas, hayag at may pananagutan,” he said.
“President Aquino has built on the platform of good governance. The Aquino administration has brought forth a government that is open, transparent and accountable. The Aquino administration stands on its record of good governance that has transformed Philippine society and restored the Filipinos’ sense of pride and dignity. Taas-noo na ngayon ang Pilipino sa kahit sinuman sa buong mundo,” Coloma added. PND (as)
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