|22 Mar 2016|
|President Aquino leads inauguration of 131-km Basilan Circumferential Road|
|(SUMISIP, Basilan) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday led the inauguration of the 131-kilometer (km) Basilan Circumferential Road, which is expected to boost economic activities and improve the security situation in the province. “Narito po tayo ngayon para saksihan ang panibagong patotoo sa ating panata… na walang Pilipinong maiiwan sa Daang Matuwid,” the President said during his speech at the event held at Bgy. Tumahubong here.
“Ang hangad natin… Moro man, Lumad, o Kristiyano, makasasabay sa tinatamasa nating pag-unlad. Ngayon, pinapasinayaan natin ang Basilan Circumferential Road… na talaga naman pong matagal nang pinangarap ng marami nating kababayan, at sa wakas nga po ay pinapakinabangan na.”
The government began constructing the road in 2000 with the help of a loan from Saudi Arabia. However, the poor security condition in Basilan prevented authorities from completing the project.
With the help of the military and through increased security, constructors were able to complete the project before the President steps down from power this year.
According to President Aquino, his administration spent P1.83 billion in concreting 51 km of the circumferential road, and in constructing four bridges.
The completion of the project cuts travel time from three hours and 45 minutes to just two hours or less, the President said.
“Mas madalas na rin ditong nakakabiyahe ang ating mga public transport. Sa mas mabilis at mas ligtas na biyahe, yung ating mga magsasaka, mas nakakapili na ng mga merkadong bebentahan ng kanilang ani, depende kung saan nila masasagad ang kita,” he said.
“Ganoon rin sa mga negosyanteng umaabot na ang produkto sa liblib na mga barangay.”
President Aquino thanked Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson for spearheading the project, the members of the military, and Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
He also thanked the people of Basilan for cooperating with the government in completing the circumferential road, as well as Basilan Governor Jum Akbar and Representative Jim Hataman.
The completion of the Basilan Circumferential Road is just the start of a wider government plan to uplift the living condition of the people of Basilan, he said, adding that the construction of the Transcentral Road Phase 1 is ongoing and the government is already bidding out Phase 2 of the project.
“Isinasakongkreto natin ang kalsada mula sa lungsod ng Lamitan hanggang lungsod ng Isabela sa Phase 1, na tutuloy sa mga munisipalidad ng Maluso at Sumisip,” he said.
“Oras na makumpleto ito, ang biyahe mula Sumisip hanggang Isabela City, mababawasan ng isang oras, at ang travel time mula Maluso hanggang Lamitan City, mababawasan din ng 45 minuto.”
President Aquino further said that aside from these road projects, some 20 km of the Al Barka-Tipo-Tipo road have been completed.
“Malinaw po: Sa mabuting pamamahala, nabigyan tayo ng kakayahang pagandahin ang ating serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.
The President also reported that from 2005 to 2010, the previous administration had allotted to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) only P1.8 billion for the construction of roads, bridges and flood control projects in Basilan, compared to the P14.8 billion allotted from 2011 to 2016 under the present administration.
He also said that across the country, the government has completed 18,547 km of national roads, including 107,579 lineal meters of bridges.
“Kita naman ninyo: Sa pananatili ng kaayusan at kapayapaan, mas nakakatutok ang inyong gobyerno, hindi lang sa iisang sektor, kundi pati na rin sa iba pa nating mga pangangailangan,” President Aquino said. PND (as)
|President Aquino spells out government projects in Basilan|
|(SUMISIP, Basilan) President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Monday that aside from improving Basilan’s infrastructure, the government has made huge investments in the province’s agricultural, social security, and energy sectors. In his speech during the inauguration of the Basilan Circumferential Road here, President Aquino said his government has earmarked P274.61 million for the construction of farm-to-market roads and irrigation systems.
For the fishery sector, he said, the government has allotted P67.7 million to build municipal fish ports and community fish landing centers in Sumisip, Lamitan, Maluso, Akbar, Hadji Muhammad Ajul, Lantawan, Tabuan Lasa, Ungkaya Pukan, and Tipo-Tipo.
The government, he added, has also actively carried out the Sitio Electrification Program to address Basilan’s power needs.
“Sa programang ito, mahigit 97 porsyento ng mga sitio sa Basilan ay nagkakuryente na. ’Yung natitirang limang sitio na wala pang kuryente, sabi po ng Department of Energy at National Electrification Administration, bago raw matapos ang Marso, energized na rin po ang limang naghihintay pa ng kuryente,” the President reported.
“Gayundin po ang lahat ng natukoy na walang kuryente sa bansa noong 2011 na umabot sa 32,441 sitio; bago rin matapos ang Marso—at ang natitirang araw sa Marso ay sampung araw na lang—magkakaroon na rin ng kuryente.”
To address peace and order in the province, the government has implemented the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program, the Chief Executive said, explaining that the program enables the government to focus on the needs of communities in conflict zones, giving them a chance to develop.
The government has also aggressively implemented the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Basilan, he said, noting that from zero beneficiary in the previous administration, the Aquino government has enlisted under the program some 31,449 households in the province.
The President further reported that the total number of 4Ps beneficiaries across the country has reached 4.6 million households, lifting 7.7 million Filipinos out of poverty.
Concluding his speech, President Aquino called on the people of Basilan to ensure the continuance of the government’s reform program by choosing candidates aligned with the administration during the May elections. PND (as)
|President Aquino awards medals to outstanding soldiers during the Philippine Army’s 119th anniversary|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday led the awarding of medals to outstanding soldiers during the 119th founding anniversary of the Philippine Army (PA) in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
The President was joined by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Irriberi, and PA Commanding General Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año in the presentation of awards and plaques of recognition to those who have contributed to the accomplishment of the Army’s mission.
The Distinguished Conduct Star, the second highest combat medal after the Medal of Valor, was conferred to 1Lt. Dionizer Mark delos Santos for his “acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry in action” during an encounter with New People’s Army rebels in Abra last November.
Delos Santos, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2008, led a platoon from the Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion during the firefight that resulted in the death of five rebels.
In his speech, President Aquino thanked the Army for living up to its mandate of “securing the land and serving the people”.
“Ito na nga po ang imahen ninyong maiiwan sa karaniwang Pilipino: isang Hukbong Katihan at Sandatahang Lakas na lagi nilang maasahan, na siyang katuwang sa pagsusulong ng estabilidad at kaayusan sa mga pamayanan. Mula rito umuusbong ang kumpiyansa na siyang kailangan sa pagsusulong ng progreso,” he said.
“Sa tuwing merong bagyo, sa harap ng matinding buhos ng ulan at hagupit ng hangin, nariyan ang Sandatahang Lakas at iba pang mga kasapi ng gobyerno, gumagawa ng paraan na mai-clear ang kalsada para makapasok ang ayuda, gaya na lang ng nasaksihan natin noong mga bagyong Yolanda, Ruby, Lando, at iba pa. Sa ganitong pagkilos, talagang batid ninyong nasa likod ninyo ang ating mga Boss, at ang dulo nito ay isang virtuous cycle ng tiwala, pag-aambagan, at positibong pagbabagong makabubuti para sa ating lahat.”
With only 100 days left as commander-in-chief, President Aquino said he is proud to leave the AFP with a high morale and the respect of the Filipino people.
“Ito na nga po ang Army at AFP na ipapamana natin bilang isang namamaalam na Commander-in-Chief: Isang hukbo na napakataas ng morale at handang-handa para sa anumang hamon; isang hukbo na tangan ang pagkilala at respeto ng taumbayan; isang hukbong propesyonal at may matibay na mga prinsipyo,” he said.
The President also noted the 68 big-ticket projects worth P58.43 billion that have benefitted the AFP. The amount included the P7.79 billion for facilities and equipment upgrade.
President Aquino also mentioned that aside from livelihood programs for active and retired uniformed men, 61,000 units have been completed under the AFP-PNP Housing Program.
“Sa paglalakbay natin sa Daang Matuwid, sinasabi ko… na karangalan kong makapaglingkod bilang inyong pinuno at Commander-in-Chief. Balang-araw, matatanaw ko ang puntong ito ng ating kasaysayan nang may pagmamalaki. Kasama ng Army at buong AFP, ginawa natin ang tama at isinabuhay natin ang katotohanang ‘The Filipino is definitely worth fighting for’,” he said.
Recipients of the Gold Cross Medal were 2Lt. Franz Arvin Balmaceda of the 73rd Infantry Battalion and Corporal Cliforduin Bade, a gunner of the 8th Scout Ranger Battalion. Col. Juvymax Uy, commander of Task Force Zamboanga, was presented the Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of Legionnaire) for his “exceptionally meritorious and valuable service rendered” as commander of the Army’s Intelligence Security Group “during the actual conduct of extensive and intensive case build-up and intelligence operations” from September 21, 2014 to May 3, 2015.
The other awardees were Col. Francisco Millare (Outstanding Achievement Medal); Lt. Col. Rosendo Abad, Jr. (Distinguished Service Star); Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan (Gawad sa Kapayapaan); Lt. Col. Wilfredo Manalang III (Military Achievement Medal); Col. Cirilito Sobejana (Gawad sa Kaunlaran); Pfc. Leonel Torrel (Bronze Cross Medal); Cpl. Victorio Ang (Military Merit Medal); CAFGU Active Auxiliary Gregorio Laginan (Kagitingan sa Barangay Maginoo); Pfc Erenio Besonia, Jr. (Enlisted Personnel of the Year); Sandy Sentelices (PA CAFGU Active Auxilliary of the Year); Nelda Maghanoy and Virginia de Luna (Model Employee of the Year); 1Lt. Abdul Dumpao (Best Reservist of the Year); Cdt. 1Cl. Jestoni Kimpalong (Best ROTC Male Cadet of the Year); and Cdt. 1Cl. Jenny Joy Tindaan (Best ROTC Female Cadet of the Year).
Command Plaques were also given to the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental (LGU); Sigma Alpha Sorority-UP Los Baños Chapter (NGO); SPO3 Ezrael Lantingan (security sector); Atty. Angelito Chua (Private Sector); and Edwin Caliolio, president of the Southern City Colleges in Zamboanga City (academe). PND (jm)