|23 June 2016|
|President Aquino presents awards to outstanding foreign affairs officials|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday recognized the hard work and dedication of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel during the agency’s 118th founding anniversary celebration held at the DFA main office along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.
The President was welcomed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Undersecretary Linglingay Lacanlale, also the chairperson of the PRAISE Committee.
In a speech delivered at the Bulwagang Apolinario Mabini, President Aquino commended former secretary Albert del Rosario, whose leadership has brought the DFA to greater heights.
Del Rosario assumed the DFA leadership in 2011 and retired early this year due to health reasons. He was replaced by former Cabinet secretary Almendras.
“Sa mahusay na pamumuno ni Secretary Albert del Rosario, na ngayon ay ipinagpapatuloy na kasing husay na Secretary Rene Almendras, sa paglilingkod ng maaasahang kawani ng DFA, gayundin sa pakikiisa ng iba pang sektor at ng ating mga Boss, nanumbalik ang maganda nating imahe sa mundo,” President Aquino said before officials and employees of the department.
“Higit sa lahat, nabawi natin ang ating pambansang dangal. Kung dati, tayo ang binabalewalang kasapi ng pandaigdigang komunidad, ngayon, isa na tayo sa tinitingalang bansa. Kung dati, puro negatibong balita ang bumabandera tungkol sa Pilipinas, ngayon, isa na tayo sa laging napupuri; saan man tayo bumisita, laging good news ang ating naiuuwi para sa Pilipino,” he said.
The President also praised the agency’s top-performing personnel and conferred on them the prestigious Gawad Sikatuna and Gawad Mabini Presidential Awards.
“Nagpapasalamat din po tayo sa ating awardees ngayong taon, sa walang humpay na sipag at dedikasyon sa pagtupad ng inyong tungkulin. Mapalad tayong magkaroon ng mga tulad ninyong huwaran sa serbisyo; talaga naman pong gumagaan ang loob ko, na kayo at ang ating mga embahada, ay nagtutulungan para maihatid ang nararapat na serbisyo at benepisyo sa ating mga kababayan. Sa inyong lahat, maraming salamat sa pagsisilbing kinatawan at sa pagpapamalas ng mabubuting katangian ng Pilipino sa mundo,” said the President, who will end his six-year term on June 30.
President Aquino likewise challenged DFA employees to work even harder to better serve the Filipino people.
“Ang hamon at panawagan ko sa inyong lahat, dito man o sa ibang bansa, nawa’y lagi ninyong sagarin ang pagkakataong pagsilbihan ang ating mga Boss. Manatili tayong humakbang, kumilos, at magpasya, nang may isang tinig at isang layunin. Tularan sana natin ang mga gaya ni Secretary Albert del Rosario, na sa kanyang hindi na gaanong batang edad, ay di inalintana ang mga hirap at sakripisyo para tuparin ang kanyang panata sa bayan. Tularan natin ang ating awardees, na sa kabila ng mga pagsubok ay pinili pa ring gawin ang tama at makatarungan para sa minamahal nating Inang bayan,” he said.
This year’s recipients of the Order of Sikatuna Grand Cross (Katangiang Ginto) Award were: Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Jesus Yabes; retired ambassador Nestor Padalhin, Formerly Assigned at Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) in the Middle East and African Regions; and Assistant Secretary Ma. Theresa Dizon-de Vega, Chief Coordinator.
The Gawad Mabini Grand Cross (Dakilang Kamanong) Award went to Philippine Ambassador to Austria Maria Zenaida Collinson; Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus Domingo; Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Lazaro; Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya III; Ambassador to Italy Domingo Nolasco; Ambassador to Qatar Wilfredo C. Santos; and Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta.
The Gawad Mabini Commander (Dakilang Kasugo) Award was presented to Acting Director Dennis John Briones of the Office of American Affairs, Division IV; Social Welfare Attaché Bernard Bonina, Philippine Embassy in Malaysia; Director Donna Celeste Gatmaytan of the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations – Division IV; and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Siegfred Masangkay, Philippine Embassy in Syria.
The Gawad Mabini Member (Kasugo) Award was conferred on Norren Joy Calip, Assistant and Attaché at the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia; Anika Fernandez, Officer in Charge of the DFA Regional Consular Office in Cebu; and Gladys Perey, Assistant and Attaché at the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon.
The event was also attended by Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. PND (jm)
|President Aquino attends Health Department’s anniversary, presents Bayani ng Kalusugan award|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday attended the 118th anniversary of the Department of Health (DOH), highlighting the department’s achievements in the past six years.
In a speech during the event that was held at the Manila Hotel, the President recalled how they scrambled to respond to a MERS corona virus threat when suspected cases were reported in the country back in 2014.
Despite the challenge that his administration faced at that time, they were able to make a systematic response to address the problem by contact tracing people who might have been infected by the overseas Filipino worker suspected of carrying the virus, he said.
“Di biro ang pagiging lingkod-bayan. Bawat sandali, hinihingi sa atin, hindi lang kung ano ang ating makakaya, kundi ang sagad ng ating magagawa,” the President said.
“Ngayon ngang ika-118 anibersaryo ng ating Department of Health, lalo lang tayong napapaalalahanan sa halaga ng trabaho ng bawat kawani ng inyong departamento, at ang dakila ninyong serbisyo sa mga Pilipino.”
The President also cited the strides made by the DOH during his tenure as president.
Each year, he said, his government increased the department’s budget, starting from P28.7 billion in 2010 until it reached P123.5 billion this year, augmenting the allocation of the DOH by more than four times.
The government has also expanded PhilHealth’s coverage rate from 51 percent to 92 percent, or 93.45 million of the country’s 101.45 million population as of last December, he added.
Since the government carried out the “No Balance Billing Policy” in 2011, some 1.25 million patients have received assistance from the program, he noted.
The President further reported that from 2010 to 2014, the government upgraded the equipment and infrastructure of 2,862 barangay health stations, 2,626 rural health units or urban health centers, 685 local government hospitals, 70 DOH hospitals, and 14 other hospitals across the country under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP).
To ensure better services through PhilHealth, he said the government has implemented the Tamang Serbisyo para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya (TSeKaP), the PhilHealth Outpatient Anti-Tuberculosis Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (TB-DOTS), and the Maternity Care Package (MCP).
Moreover, the President noted that until the first quarter of 2016, the government has deployed to rural communities 2,680 doctors and 15,407 midwives since 2010; 93,174 nurses since 2011; and 459 dentists, 454 medical technologists, and 1,592 public health associates since 2015.
Proof of the DOH’s aggressive work to serve the people is the ISO-Certification earned by 53 out of 70 DOH-retained hospitals, he said, adding that three DOH-attached agencies — the Food and Drug Administration, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and National Nutrition Council – as well as all regional and central offices have also obtained ISO certification.
The President extended his gratitude to Health Secretary Janette Garin and DOH personnel for tirelessly working for his administration and making health programs under the Daang Matuwid agenda a success.
“Ito na nga po ang pagkakataon upang personal akong makapagpasalamat sa mga bumubuo ng ating Department of Health. Alam kong sa nakalipas na anim na taon, tahimik lang kayong kumakayod, at karamihan sa inyo, talagang nakisama sa pagtahak natin sa Daang Matuwid,” he said.
The highlight of Thursday’s event was the presentation of the DOH’s Bayani Ng Kalusugan Award that honors the achievements of individuals and organizations in attaining universal health care.
The DOH confers the award to those who have rendered time and effort to achieve the department’s goal of providing universal health care for all Filipinos.
The individual awardees were Dr. Rickson Balalio, a municipal health officer in Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte; Dr. Esperanza Cabral, a former DOH secretary; Virginia Cadano, a midwife in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; Edwin Candido, an anti-tuberculosis volunteer in Region IV; Dr. Agnes Centino, an assistant city health officer in Gingoog City; Sr. Eloise David, a nun and nurse in Region VIII; Dr. Penelope Domogo, a provincial health officer in the Mt. Province; Dr. Egidio Elio, a private medical doctor in Region VI; Sr. Eva Fidela Maamo, a nun and doctor at the National Capital Region (NCR); Paciano Madlay, a barangay health worker in Region IVB; Irenea Ordinario, a barangay health worker in Region VII; Concepcion Petalino, a barangay health worker in Region VII; Melchor Petracorta, incoming vice mayor of Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, a former DOH secretary; and Rosalinda Tanguamos, a midwife and barangay health worker in Region IX.
The organizations that received the award were the Community Based Health Program of the diocese of Ipil, Region IX; the Davao Children’s Cancer Fund Inc. in Region XI; the Marikina City Health Office in the NCR; the Philippine Accessible Deaf Services, Inc. (PADS) in Region VII; and the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod in the NCR. PND (as)
|President Aquino honors members of his Cabinet, other officials|
|President Aquino led the conferment Thursday of presidential awards to heads of departments and agencies who served his administration.
In his speech during the conferment of presidential awards, the President said people who joined his Cabinet gave up their high-paying jobs and time with their families to serve the government.
“Some of you have put your own lives in peril, not once but multiple times, responding to disasters both natural and man-made,” he said.
“Each of you has shared in the burden, and each of you has made it a little bit easier to carry the responsibility of bringing hope and a better life for our people.”
The President recognized their contributions, noting those officials energized the bureaucracy and made an impact on the lives of the people, making the impossible possible.
“As we leave office, we can do so with our heads held high, because we’ve done right by the Filipino people. Thus, on behalf of our people, and from the bottom of my heart, I must say: Thank you very much,” the President said.
As they leave office on June 30, the President said they must continue to do their own, small part in the grand task of building a nation.
He said that he hopes that even on an unofficial level, they may still find themselves working together as fellow citizens for a progressive Philippines.
Among the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Merit include Susan Reyes, Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Social Secretary; Celia Anna Feria, Chief of Presidential Protocol; Emmanuel Esguerra, Director General of National Economic and Development Authority and Secretary of the Socio-Economic Planning;
Manuel Quezon III, Undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office; Lilia de Lima, Director General Philippine Economic Zone Authority; Gerardo Angelito Esquivel, Administrator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System; Robert Vergara, President and General Manager of the Government Service Insurance System; Arnel Paciano Casanova, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority;
Mary Ann Lucille Sering, Secretary of the Climate Change Commission; Chito Cruz, Chairman of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and General Manager of the National Housing Authority; Cesar Villanueva, Chairman of the Governance Commission for Government Owned or Controlled Corporations.
Those conferred with Order of Lakandula were Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Director General of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; Luwalhati Antonino, Chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority; Cesar Garcia, National Security Adviser and Director General of the National Security Council; Mario Montejo, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology;
Ramon Jimenez, Secretary of Department of Tourism; Mel Senen Sarmiento, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government; Corazon Soliman, Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Janette Garin, Secretary of the Department of Health;
Voltaire Gazmin, Secretary of the Department of National Defense; Rosalinda Baldoz, Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment; Armin Luistro, Secretary of the Department of Education; Rogelio Singson, Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (represented by his family); and Jose Rene Almendras, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs/ Cabinet Secretary/ Secretary of the Department of Energy. PND (as)