29 Mar 2016

Palace urges Filipinos to vote for continuity, consistency in May polls
Malacañang on Monday urged the Filipino people to scrutinize the platforms of candidates and vote for continuity and consistency in the May elections to further accelerate the country’s upward trajectory.In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stressed the importance of discernment, which he described as “key to a successful transition between leaders and continuation” of the country’s transformation under Daang Matuwid.

“This weekend, the campaign period for local elections kicked off all over the country. As with the national elections, discernment is key to a successful transition between leaders and the continuation of our country’s transformation under Daang Matuwid. During this crucial time, when the Filipino people once again hold the nation’s future in their hands, we urge citizens to look beyond mere slogans and posters, and exercise their right to scrutinize the platforms of their candidates, both local and national,” said Secretary Lacierda.

He also expressed hope that the public would vote wisely, keeping in mind their – and the future generation’s — welfare.

“We trust that our voters remain cognizant that their choices will affect not only their future, or the future of their children, but also that of many, many generations to come. In this light, let us all vote for leaders who have the long view in mind, not for those who dangle empty promises or propose unlawful shortcuts. Keeping our recent successes in mind, let us vote not for uncertainty but for continuity and consistency—and thereby further accelerate our country’s upward trajectory,” the Palace official said.

Meanwhile, Lacierda invited the public to read the newly revised and expanded edition of the Philippine Electoral Almanac for a broader view of the electoral history.

“For a broader view of our electoral history, we invite the public to read the newly revised and expanded edition of the Philippine Electoral Almanac, available for free download on www.archive.org. Spanning the pre-colonial period to the present, the almanac explores the political relationships between the government and its electorate, and features articles, maps, charts, and other infographics.

For more information and other interesting resources, the public may also visit the websites of the Presidential Museum and Library and Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines,” he said. PND (jm)

President Aquino urges Manila voters to support continuity of ‘Daang Matuwid’
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on Manila voters to support the continuity of the government’s Daang Matuwid advocacy during the Liberal Party’s proclamation rally in Quiapo, Manila on Monday night.

Before hundreds of supporters who trooped to the historic Plaza Miranda in front of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, President Aquino presented the ruling party’s presidential bet, Manuel Roxas II, and vice presidential candidate, Leni Robredo, as he spelled out the government programs that would remain in place if the administration candidates win.

“Pagdating ng Mayo, sa ika-9 ng Mayo, si Noynoy Aquino, tulad niyo iisa lang ang boto, parehong boto ni Juan at Juana dela Cruz, at sa huli po, damay-damay tayo sa lahat ng botong iyang pinag-ipon ang magiging may lagda ng ating kinabukasan,” said the President.

“Malinaw sa akin kung gusto nating magtuloy ang Daang Matuwid, kailangan nating ihalal, ikampanya, at ipaglaban sina Mar at Leni. Sabi nga ho nila… Lahat nang may halaga o tunay na may halaga, pinaghihirapan. Tungkulin nating isulong ang tama, at ilapit sa iba ang ating paniniwala. Kailangan nating muling buhayin, ipakita ang lakas ng People Power,” he added.

The President mentioned the conditional cash transfer program or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which has 4.6 million families as beneficiaries, and PhilHealth, which is providing medical services to 96 percent of the country’s population.“Bakit ihihinto ang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, na dati’y hindi pa umabot ng 800,000 ang bilang ng kabahayang benepisyaryo, at ngayon, aabot na sa 4.6 million bago matapos ang ating taon? Dito sa inyo, ang dating 2,777 pamilya o kabahayang benepisyaryo noong 2010, umakyat na sa 46,723 ang bilang sa kasalukuyan,” he said.

“Bakit ititigil ang PhilHealth, na dating nasa 51 percent lang ang mga miyembro, ngayon halos abot-kamay na natin ang 100 percent coverage dahil nasa 93 percent na tayo ayon sa PhilHealth. Dito sa inyo sa Maynila, bakit natin pipigilan ang pagpopondo sa mga Health Facilities Enhancement Program, na pumalo sa halagang 281 million pesos sa Maynila lang?”

The Chief Executive cited several road and flood control projects that are included in the P16.33 billion budget allocated for infrastructure programs in Manila from 2010 to the present.

“Sa mga kalsada, tulay, flood control at iba pang imprastruktura: Noong taong 2005 hanggang taong 2010, ang nailaang pondo para sa inyong lungsod ng ating sinundan, 4.73 billion pesos. Sa parehong panahon, 2011 hanggang 2016, na-triple natin ito sa humigit kumulang 16.33 billion pesos para sa Maynila lang katumbas ng maraming mga probinsya. Kasama rito ang mga proyektong Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, pati na ang Redevelopment ng Roxas Boulevard, Reconstruction and Improvement of the Bonifacio Drive, Widening ng Anda Circle, pagpapaunlad ng Ayala Bridge,” he said.

President Aquino also noted the Metro Manila Flood Control Master Plan, which includes the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 2 and Phase 3; Manila Bay Seawall Project; and the Blumentritt Interceptor Catchment Area.

“Marami na nga tayong naitanim, at marami-rami na ang ating inaani. Pero mas marami pa ang maaani natin, at mas mapapalago pa natin ang matatamis na bunga ng lahat ng ating pinagsikapan kung matutuloy ang ating nasimulan,” he said.

“Darating nga ang panahon, na tatanawin natin ang sandaling ito sa ating kasaysayan, at sana po lahat tayo masasabi nating, ‘Kasama ako,’ sa humubog sa magandang bukas ng Pilipinas. Kasama nina Mar at Leni, itinuloy ko ang laban; naging parte ako ng positibong pagbabago.”

During the same occasion, former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim formally announced his bid to challenge incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada. The 86-year-old Lim was also known as “Dirty Harry” during his stint as National Bureau of Investigation chief. PND (jm)

President Aquino attends graduation ceremony of local gov’t planners
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday encouraged the new graduates of the Development Academy of the Philippines’ (DAP) Master in Public Management major in Local Governance and Development (MPM-LGD) program to work with vigor and passion throughout their careers in public office.

The MPM-LDG, which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development, is a customized program designed for local government unit (LGU) planners from the Yolanda Corridor. The program supported the reconstruction and rehabilitation of various municipalities affected by Typhoon Yolanda and deepened the public management skills and practices needed to move towards full development.

The 148 graduates came from Aklan (18), Antique (13), Biliran (6), Capiz (14), Cebu (15), Dinagat Island (1), Eastern Samar (7), Iloilo (25), Leyte (26), Masbate (1), Negros Occidental (8), Palawan (1), Samar (5), Southern Leyte (7), and Tacloban City (1).

President Aquino said the graduates’ entry into the country’s pool of experts “will also help give government the capacity to pursue much-needed initiatives”.

“You will be able to make a massive difference in the lives of your fellow Filipinos. Your task, at the local level, is to manage all the possible concerns—whether it’s ensuring the safety of the people, addressing their issues on relocation, or planning the construction of infrastructure based on scientific evidence,” he said in his speech during the ceremony held at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace.

“I am thankful to our partners from the United States government, the Development Academy of the Philippines, and most of all to you, who have committed so much time and effort in the spirit of serving our fellowman,” the President told the graduates.

Also present were United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, DAP President Antonio Kalaw, Jr., and Gloria Jumamil-Mercado, senior vice president for Development Education and dean of the DAP Graduate School of Public and Development Management. PND (jm)