July 27, 2015 – News Releases
|27 July 2015|
|Palace defends administration’s successes ahead of President Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address|
| Critics of the administration should consider looking at the larger picture of what the Aquino administration has accomplished in the past five years instead of complaining, a Palace official said on Monday.
Instead of searching for the administration’s shortcomings, critics should analyze things to see that the glass is half full, not half empty, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in an interview.
“Baka sa halip na mag-complain na hindi pa puno, makita natin na it’s becoming more full. Iyon lang ang masasabi ko sa kanila,” Secretary Coloma said.
Asked if the president would tackle his 16-point Social Contract with the Filipino people point by point, he said that from the start, the administration has tried to address everything contained in the agenda.
This 16-point Social Contract with the Filipino people, he said, was translated into a more inclusive Philippine Development Plan, which contains five pillars — sustained and inclusive economic growth; poverty reduction and social protection and social welfare and development; climate change mitigation and adaptation; security, peace, and law and order; and good governance.
The “matuwid na daan” is not just a slogan and the Aquino government concretized it by aggressively pushing for reforms, Coloma said, adding that the government has pushed for a Citizen’s Charter and transparency seal to achieve an open and accountable government.
“Kaya kung tutuusin, napakarami nang progreso ang natamo doon sa lahat ng labing-anim na punto sa social contract na translated into the Philippine Development Plan,” he said.
Although there is a matrix for the updated results of the Philippine Development Plan, Coloma said all of the administration’s achievements cannot be included in the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
However, the main points of the President’s SONA could be viewed by the public in a technical report, he said, encouraging the public to listen to President Aquino’s address. PND (as)
|President Aquino sends well wishes to Iglesia ni Cristo on its 101st anniversary|
| Continued vigor and enduring devotion among its millions of followers are President Benigno S. Aquino III’s fervent wishes for the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) on the occasion of its 101st founding anniversary.
In his message published on the Official Gazette on Monday, President Aquino said he is one with the Filipino nation in congratulating all members of the INC as they mark yet another year of faithful gathering in the service of God.
“lsang taon pa lamang ang nakalipas nang ipinagbunyi ninyo ang sandaang taon ng pananampalataya at, ngayon, tinatamasa na ninyo ang panibagong siglo ng pagtitipon sa pananalig at paglilingkod sa Maykapal,” the President said.
“Hangad ko ang patuloy na pagsigla ng inyong samahan at paglalim ng panata ninyong akayin ang ating mga kababayan tungo sa tapat at marangal na pamumuhay,” he added.
President Aquino took note of how the INC looks after the welfare of its members, as it helps in the administration’s continuing efforts to pursue the reforms it has already started.
“Ang ganitong pagkalinga sa isa’t isa ang magtataguyod sa repormang atin nang nasimulan. Habang ginagabayan tayo ng mga aral ng ating pananampalataya, hindi tayo mawawalay sa tuwid na daan o madadaig ng mga pasubok na naglalayong idiskaril ang pagbabago sa ating bansa; bagkus, tayo pa ay kikilos upang tuluyang mapuksa ang katiwalian at pandayin ang patas at maginhawang kinabukasan para sa lahat,” he said.
The President also thanked the INC for its positive contributions to society with hopes that it would remain as the government’s partner in pushing for a just and peaceful Philippines under the current leadership of Brother Eduardo Manalo.
“Maraming salamat sa pakikiambag ninyo sa adhikaing ito. Umaasa akong ang INC, sa ilalim ng pamamatnubay ni Ka Eduardo Manalo, ay patuloy na magiging katuwang natin sa pagsulong ng isang Pilipinas na makatarungan, mapayapa, at nagsisilbing bukal ng malawakang kaunlaran,” he said.
The INC traces its roots to Punta, Santa Ana, Manila, where it established its first local congregation back on July 27, 1914.
Its churches eventually multiplied to 5,545 worldwide, as of March 2014, according to its Wikipedia page.
The INC describes itself as “a Christian religion whose primary purpose is to serve and worship the Almighty God based on His teachings recorded in the Bible.” Its major activities include worship service, missionary work, and edification. PND (hdc)
|President Aquino reports successes in infrastructure sector in sixth State of the Nation Address|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, enumerated the major infrastructure projects completed or being implemented under his leadership.These projects include the Lullutan Bridge in Isabela, Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project in Iloilo, and Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase 2 in Tarlac.
The President also reported that the government is in the process of completing three bridges that would make the Basilan Circumferential Road fully operational. A portion of the project, which began in 2000, is already being used.
Last week, the President opened the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway. Also completed were the first two parts of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), as well as the Phase 2 of the STAR Toll.
The President said that once the Cavite-Laguna Expressway Project, the C-6 Phase 1, the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, and the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road are completed, the public will reap the benefits of better infrastructure.
The government also built such flood control projects as the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 2, which was competed in 2013, and the high-impact flood control projects for the National Capital Region (NCR) that will be competed this November.
The government also eyes to complete the Blumentritt Interceptor Catchment Area next year, the President said, adding that the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike will be awarded in December.
“Malinaw ang ating stratehiya: Sa pagpapagawa ng mga kalsada, tulay at iba pang struktura, iniibsan natin ang dapat ibsan, at pinapabilis ang paghahatid ng benepisyo,” he said.
“Ang panawagan ko nga po, makiambag sana tayong lahat, at maging handang magsakripisyo,” the President said, addressing those who oppose the construction of major government projects.
The President also mentioned the Public-Private Partnerships that his administration has been pushing, noting that his leadership has surpassed the six solicited PPP projects in the past three administrations.
Currently, the government has 50 projects, 10 of which were already awarded, 13 are undergoing the bidding process, and 27 projects are in the pipeline.
“Kada matagumpay na proyekto, magbubunsod din ng higit na kumpiyansa, na siyang magpapabilis sa pagpapatayo natin ng iba pang kinakailangang imprastruktura. Ang pagtitiis ng ating mga Boss, maiibsan, kundi man matatapos na,” he said.
The President said that he is not rushing project approvals to make sure that every project benefits intended communities.
|President Aquino pushes for Anti-Dynasty Law|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III threw his support for the passage of the anti-political dynasty bill in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA), delivered at the Batasang Pambansa Complex on Monday.
President Aquino personally endorsed the bill before lawmakers, some of whom belong to political clans.
“Naaalala ko rin po: Kumontra akong pagkaitan ang isang tao ng karapatang tumakbo sa puwesto, dahil lang sa kanyang apelyido. Bakit nga naman tayo gagawa ng batas para pigilang maglingkod ang gustong maglingkod?” he said.
“Pero napag-isip din po ako: May mali rin sa pagbibigay ng pagkakataong habambuhay na magpakasasa sa kapangyarihan ang isang tiwaling pamilya o indibiduwal,” he added.
The President said his fear of having a greedy leader is the very reason why he thumbed down the proposal to extend the term of Philippine presidents.
“Di tayo makakasiguro kung malinis ang intensyon sa mga susunod, o kung nanaisin lang nilang habambuhay na maghari-harian para sa sariling interes. Panahon na para ipasa ang isang Anti-Dynasty Law,” he said.
The 1987 Constitution prohibits political dynasties but requires an enabling law to enforce it. No anti-dynasty law has ever been passed by Congress.
Among the country’s most notable political clans are the Binays, the Marcoses, and the Cayetanos, all of whom were present during the SONA.
President Aquino had earlier said that the anti-dynasty law is not a priority measure of the administration.
He however expressed willingness to support the bill if it is “doable”. PND (jb)
|President Aquino calls on Filipinos to choose the right leaders in next year’s elections|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday appealed to Filipinos not to allow the country to slip back to uncertainty by choosing the right leaders in next year’s presidential election.In his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President said he sees the upcoming elections as a referendum for the “righteous path” that he has been championing since he ran for president in 2010.
“May sentimyentong umiiral na sa tingin ko, mahuhuli ng isang tanong, ang tanong po: Lahat ba ng ating naipundar, lahat ba ng ating pinaghirapan, maglalaho dahil lang sa isang eleksiyon?” he asked.
“Kayo ang magdedesisyon kung ang pagbabago bang ating tinatamasa ay magiging permanente, o tatanawin lang bilang tsamba at panandaliang pagbangon sa isang mahabang kasaysayan ng pagkakadapa.”
The benefits the country is reaping from its economic successes are just the initial fruits of the administration’s hard work, the President said.
And once the present transformation is sustained, the country will enjoy the real benefits of the country’s economic gains, he added.
Citing a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing optimism among Filipinos, the President said 8 out of 10 Filipinos believe that the Philippines will become a developed country in the future.
This view is supported by government data, he said, noting that from 2010 to 2014, the country posted an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.2 percent, the country’s highest in the past 40 years.
“Kung aabot po tayo sa 6.8 percent ngayong 2015, makakamtan natin ang pinakamataas na six-year average growth sa loob ng halos anim na dekada,” he said.
“Siyempre po, ang pag-angat ng ekonomiya, may katumbas na pag-angat ng kakayahan ng gobyernong kumalinga at magbigay-lakas sa mamamayan upang masagad ang mga bumubukas na pagkakataon.”
He noted that according to economists, if the government’s reform agenda continues, the Philippines would become a First World nation within a generation.
He also said that should the people continue supporting the righteous path agenda, he would continue to support them, even after he steps down from office next year. PND (as)
|Palace to forward P3-trillion 2016 national budget to Congress|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III said in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday that he will submit to Congress the proposed P3-trillion national budget for 2016.
“Bukas na bukas naman po ay makakarating na sa inyo ang panukalang budget para sa susunod na taon,” the Chief Executive said.“Hindi pa po tayo nabibigong ipasa ito sa tamang oras; umaasa nga po ako, na mapapanatili ang tamang kalakarang ito ngayong nasa huling yugto na tayo ng ating administrasyon,” he added, as he enumerated the priority legislation of his administration.President Aquino early this month approved the proposed P3-trillion national budget for next year. He made the approval after a Cabinet budget presentation meeting last July 6.
According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), P2.42 trillion of the P3 trillion will fund current expenditures, among them employees’ salaries, overhead costs, and such programs as basic education.
The DBM said the remaining P580.9 billion will support new or expanded programs.
According to the budget department, the 2016 budget will focus on the needs of the 44 poorest and most vulnerable provinces across the country, as well as on President Aquino’s five priority areas: good governance, inclusive growth, sustaining the growth momentum, disaster risk management, and peace initiatives. PND (as)
|President Aquino urges Congress to pass Bangsamoro Basic Law, other measures|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA), urged Congress to immediately pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and other measures.
In his sixth and last SONA, delivered at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives on Monday afternoon, President Aquino appealed to lawmakers to pass the BBL, which will pave the way for the establishment of a new Bangsamoro political entity.
“Sa mga tutol sa batas na ito: Palagay ko, obligasyon ninyong magmungkahi ng mas magandang solusyon. Kung wala kayong alternatibo, ginagarantiya lang ninyong hindi maaabot ang pagbabago,” he said.
“Ilang buhay pa ang kailangang ibuwis para magising ang lahat sa obligasyong baguhin ang sirang status quo sa Muslim Mindanao?” the President said.
Aside from the proposed BBL, President Aquino also called on Congress to pass the Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives Bill.
“Kung maipapasa ito, maitatama ang papatsa-patsang sistema ng pagbibigay insentibo at magiging mas makatuwiran ang pagbubuwis sa mga negosyo,” he explained.The President also pushed for the approval of the Unified Uniformed Personnel Pension Reform Bill.
“Hinihiling rin namin ang agarang pagtutok sa Unified Uniformed Personnel Pension Reform Bill, para tuluyang maisulong ang isang makatarungang sistemang pampensyon para sa kanila,” he said.
“Agaran po sanang maipasa ang batas na ito, dahil ngayon pa lang, trilyong piso na ang kakailanganin para pondohan ang pensyon ng unipormadong hanay. Kailangan ng awtorisasyon ng batas para matugunan ang masalimuot na sitwasyong ito.”
President Aquino also mentioned the proposed budget for 2016, which the government will submit on Tuesday.
“Hindi pa po tayo nabibigong ipasa ito sa tamang oras; umaasa nga po ako, na mapapanatili ang tamang kalakarang ito ngayong nasa huling yugto na tayo ng ating administrasyon,” he said.
In his SONA, President Aquino also lauded Congress for the passage of some of the government measures in the previous years, including the Sin Tax Reform Act and the Responsible Parenthood Act.
“Dahil sa Kongreso, naipasa ang mga batas na kikilalanin bilang haligi ng transpormasyong sinisimulan natin ngayon. Sa Kamara at Senado, lalo na sa mga kasapi ninyong naging kabalikat sa Daang Matuwid nitong mga nagdaang taon: Salamat sa Philippine Competition Law, sa Act Allowing the Full Entry of Foreign Banks, at sa pag-amyenda sa Cabotage Law,” he said.
“Salamat sa Sin Tax Reform Act. Salamat sa Responsible Parenthood Act. Salamat sa lahat ng iba pang makabuluhang batas na inyong ipinasa. Tunay nga pong napakalaki ng naiaambag ng isang Kongresong determinadong maging katuwang sa pagsusulong ng pagbabago,” he added.
Last week, President Aquino signed into law the Philippine Competition Act and the Liberalization of Philippine Cabotage. PND (co)