|25 June 2016|
|President Aquino thanks Ateneo community for supporting his government|
|President Aquino delivered on Saturday a commencement speech at the Ateneo De Manila University Loyola Schools, thanking the university for supporting his administration in the past six years.
In his speech, the President mentioned the achievements of his government in recent years like fighting poverty, improving the economy, health and national security.
“Lahat ng ito, at marami pang iba, nagawa dahil nakiambag ang napakaraming Pilipino: Sa loob ng administrasyon at sa pribadong sektor, sa sarili nating mga paraan, malaki man o maliit, pansin man o hindi ng madla,” he told the members of the Ateneo community.
“Sa puntong ito, gusto kong pasalamatan ang mga Atenistang nakiambag nitong mga nakaraang taon.”
“Hindi nagkulang sa pakikilahok ang Ateneo community sa anumang diskursong bumabalot sa lipunan.“
When a propaganda to forget martial law was initiated, the President said Ateneo was one of the institutions that issued a collective statement.
In line with Ateneo’s core principles, the President said his administration did everything to make it a government for others.
His government focused its attention in maximizing the benefits of reforms and for it to reach a large number of people especially those who are marginalized.
For instance, recent data shows 7.7 million Filipino families were lifted out of poverty as a result of the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
From 47 million in 2010, the government was able to increase to 93 million the beneficiaries of Philhealth, he said.
“Isinara natin ang mga minanang backlog sa classroom, textbook, at upuan sa mga paaralan. Tinanggal natin ang wangwang sa mga sistema at proseso ng pamahalaan,” he noted.
“Mula sa pagiging Sick Man of Asia, kinikilala na tayo ngayon bilang Asia’s Darling at Asia’s Bright Spot.”
The government was also able to modernize the police and the military by giving soldiers and policemen the training and equipment they need, he said.
The administration also did away with using a reenacted budget that was a source of corruption in the past, he noted.
In his last message to the Ateneo community, he said: “Mga kapwa ko Atenista: Lahat ng pinagdaanan niyo dito sa Ateneo, lahat ng itinuro sa inyo ni Fr. Jett at ng inyong mga guro ay paghahanda para sa mas malawak at mas masalimuot na mundo ng pagiging tao-para-sa-kapwa.“
“Itong graduation ninyo ay tanda ng inyong tagumpay sa kontroladong mundo ng Loyola Heights. Anuman ang landas na inyong piliin, huwag niyo sanang kalimutan ang lahat ng ibinahagi sa inyo dito sa Ateneo.“
He said he supports this year’s graduates encouraging them to become Men and Women for others, and serve as example to other people.
The President will step down from power on June 30. PND (as)
|Strong economy shields Philippines from effects of ‘Brexit’, says Palace official|
|The Palace made an assurance on Saturday that the country’s economy is strong enough to be affected by any shock created by UK’s vote to volt from the European Union.
In a radio interview on Saturday, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr was asked if the Philippines can withstand the effects of UK severing its ties to the EU.
He responded by saying that according to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, most of the Filipino workers in Britain are nurses who are subjected to British law rather than EU regulations.
“Ang kanilang paglilingkod doon ay hindi nakasalalay sa pagiging miyembro ng United Kingdom sa European Union, dahil ang sumasaklaw sa kanilang pagtatrabaho doon ay mga batas ng United Kingdom, hindi ng European Union,” he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.
Economically speaking, the British exit or ‘Brexit’ should not cause anxiety in the Philippines, according to Coloma.
The Palace official said that the Department of Finance also made an assurance that the country’s economic fundamentals are strong as a result of the initiatives carried out by the Aquino government in the last six years.
Despite the stable and strong economy however, the government should not be complacent and overconfident, he said.
There are three things that the incoming administration should do, he said.
First, continue strengthening the economy and second is increasing investors’ confidence as well as the global financial markets.
And third, the Duterte administration should continue the reforms to remove the roadblocks that hamper the growth of the economy, he said.
“Lahat ng ito ay nakabatay– o lahat ng ginawa ng Aquino administration hinggil sa mga bagay na ito na marapat na ipagpatuloy ay nakabatay sa mga prinsipyo ng mabuting pamamahala sa Daang Matuwid,” Coloma noted.
The British people voted in a June 23 referendum to exit the European Union. The referendum roiled global markets, including currencies, causing the British pound to fall to its lowest level in decades. PND (as)
|Palace recognizes role of Filipino seafarers in global economy|
|Malacanang recognized the contributions of Filipino seafarers as the world celebrates ‘International Seafarers’ Day’ today.
“Kaisa tayo ng sambayanan sa pagbibigay-pugay sa mga Pilipinong mandaragat o seafarers. Sa buong daigdig, kinikilala at tinatanghal natin sila bilang pinakamahusay, pinakamasipag at may kakayahang maghatid ng mataas na kalidad ng paglilingkod,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a radio interview on Saturday.
“Dahil dito, ang mga Pilipino seafarers ang pinakamarami sa buong pandaigdigang industriya maritima.“
Filipinos are highly regarded in the global maritime industry because of their competence, skill and high level of professionalism, he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
The secretary-general of the International Maritime Office (IMO), Kitack Lim of South Korea, was supposed to lead the gathering Saturday of thousands of seafarers for the International Seafarers’ Day at the SM Convention Center (SMX) in Pasay City.
The chief of the IMO was expected to talk about his insights and plans for the estimated 1.5 million seafarers all over the world.
IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. It was organized in 1948 with 171 member states and three associate members.
The main role of the IMO is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.
The International Seafarers’ Day is an official United Nations event under the auspices of the IMO, which aims to increase public awareness on the world’s 1.5 million seafarers and their contribution to the world economy.
This year’s theme for the Seafarer’s Day is “At Sea For All.” PND (as)
|Palace official sums up accomplishments of Aquino government in six years|
|Few days before leaving office, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr summed up the major accomplishments of the Aquino administration in the last six years.
Among the major accomplishments is the change on the perception of other countries on the Philippines with regards to corruption, Coloma said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan on Saturday.
He said that for instance, the Economic Freedom Index in 2010, the Philippines was ranked at 115. In 2015 the country was at 70th place.
“Doon sa Global Competitiveness Index ng World Economic Forum ng 2010 ay no. 85 tayo; 2015 no. 47, kaya halos kalahati ang nilampasan natin,” he said in the interview.
He added that in the Global Enabling Trade Index of the World Economic Forum, from rank 92 in 2010, the Philippines jumped to rank 64 in 2015.
“Kaya makikita natin sa iba’t ibang larangan, sa pananaw ng daigdig ay malaki na ang naiangat ng ating bansa at kung inyo pang mararapatin, meron akong summaries sa iba’t ibang larangan,” he said.
Major accomplishments in the economy include the 6.2 percent average annual GDP growth, the highest in the last 40 years, he noted, adding the country also strengthened consumer prices and achieved steady inflation at an average of 1.4 percent at the end of 2015.
Coloma also reported that the Aquino administration was able to increase employment rate from 92.7 percent in 2010 to 94.2 percent in January 2016.
And as a result of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Coloma said 7.7 million Filipinos were lifted out of poverty.
The unemployment rate of 5.8 percent is the lowest that the country has posted in the last several decades, according to the Palace official.
The country’s investment on infrastructure was also increased from 1.8 percent of GDP in 2010 to about 5 percent of GDP this year.
“Together with the active promotion of public-private partnerships o PPP, 12 contracts were awarded to private partners, more than the combined six solicited projects awarded during the past three administrations,” he said.
The government also intensified universal health care and heightened access to quality health care including the Universal Health Care program of PhilHealth that now covers 93.45 million Filipinos.
In the education sector, he said 89,720 classrooms are constructed from 2010 to March 2016, with another 95,429 scheduled for construction.
This is coming from a shortage of 66,800 classrooms in 2010 and more than double the number of classrooms built from 2005 to 2009. The 1:1 ratio of textbook to students was also achieved. Furthermore, 170,000 additional teachers were hired, Coloma said.
Another category is the provision of technical assistance to more than 10 million youths who are now properly equipped with training skills and certification to join the local and foreign workforce or put up their own business.
A recent study by TESDA shows that six out of 10 of its graduates get immediate employment within six months to one year after completion of the program, according to Coloma.
The Aquino government also made major strides in modernizing the Armed Forces of the Philippines with approximately P60 billion allotted for military capability upgrading projects under the AFP Modernization and Capability Upgrade program, or Republic Act 10349, enacted in December 2012.
Under the government watch, weather forecasting was also improved, many trees were planted through a national greening program and projects to address flooding in different parts of the country were carried out.
To address traffic decongestion, the government acquired 48 new coaches for MRT-3 with the final delivery expected on January 2017.
The government also launched the LRT-1 extension project which will connect Baclaran to Niyog in Cavite through additional eight stations.
Other projects include the LRT-2 extension to Masinag, which is expected to be operational by third quarter of 2017 and MRT-7 that will run from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Juan Del Monte in Bulacan
The Skyway stage 3 is now also being constructed. It will link NLEX and SLEX via an elevated toll road and cut travel time between Buendia in Makati and Balintawak in Quezon City from two hours to just 20 minutes. This project is scheduled for completion in April 2017, Coloma reported.
At the same time, the government also launched the 12.3-kilometer Manila Bus Rapid Transit system from Quezon Memorial Circle to Manila City Hall. Similar system is being developed in Cebu, he said. PND (as)