31 Mar 2016

President Aquino inaugurates 4-storey school building in Caloocan
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday formally turned over a brand new four–storey, 20-classroom school building in Caloocan City.

The building, which was financed and donated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), is located inside the compound of the Grace Park Elementary School Main (GPESM) in Grace Park.

“Ngayong hapon, muli nating pinatutunayan ang positibong bunga ng mabuting pamamahala at sama-samang pagtahak sa Daang Matuwid. Pinapasinayaan po natin ang dalawang bagong school buildings dito sa Grace Park Elementary School, na pihadong magiging lunsaran ng mas magandang kinabukasan para sa mga kabataan ng Caloocan,” the President said in his speech.

During the turnover rites, President Aquino was joined by PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cristino Naguiat, Jr., Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, and Caloocan City 2nd District Representative Edgar Erice.

“Balita ko po ililipat daw ‘yung senior high school dito, halos dodoble ang populasyon nito, kakayanin daw po nitong mga pasilidad niyo, at single shift, hindi na raw po tulad ng dati. Isipin niyo estudyante, double shift,” he noted.

“Ano kaya ang ibig sabihin ng double shift? Double shift — pwede ho ‘yun triple shift sa factory, pero pag ‘yung nag-aaral, ‘yung bata ‘di ba? Tama ‘yung tulog, tama ‘yung oras ng pagkain, tama ‘yung oras ng pag-aaral, may pahinga et cetera, kailangan kumpletuhin ‘yun. Para makumpleto ang development. Pag ginagawa niyong multiple shift, sa ibang lugar ho umaabot ng tatlo hanggang apat. Grade school na bata, mag-uumpisang late afternoon, matatapos ng medyo gabi na ho talaga, at uuwi sila sa gabi. ‘Di ho tamang patakaran ang ganito… kaya ito ang pinapalitan natin,” he explained.

The inauguration of the new building and classrooms was made possible through the “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid Aralan” project of PAGCOR and its partners –the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“Layon ng programang ito na makatulong sa pagpapagawa natin ng mga classroom sa kalakhang bansa: DepEd ang tumutukoy sa mga paaralan na kailangan pa ng mga classroom, PAGCOR ang mag popondo, DPWH naman ang nagpapatayo ng gusali. Mula 2011 hanggang 2015, nakapaglaan na ang PAGCOR ng 12 bilyong piso para sa 6,500 silid-aralan. Baka pwede ho nating pasalamatan din ang PAGCOR,” he concluded. PND (sm)

Major government projects now benefit Caloocan, says President Aquino
President Benigno S. Aquino III has reported to the people of Caloocan the achievements of his administration in improving the city’s infrastructure, health care, and social welfare.

“Sa halos anim na taon po pagtahak natin sa Daang Matuwid, talaga pong marami nang nagbago sa sitwasyon natin ngayon kumpara sa ating dinatnan,” the President said in his speech during a meeting with Caloocan’s local leaders on Wednesday night.

He noted that from 2005 to 2010, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had allocated P1.54 billion for Caloocan.

Under the Aquino administration however, he said, the government has allotted P3.16 billion for the development of the city’s infrastructure projects, among them the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, NLEX Harbor Link-Segment 10, and North-South Railway Project North Line, as well as the installation of LED street lights at C-3 Road.

To address flooding in the city, the government funded the Kalookan-Malabon-Navotas Area Project Phase 1, he added.

The President further said that the national government has poured a huge amount of money for Caloocan’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program, allocating P84 million to rehabilitate the city’s barangay health stations, urban health centers, and hospitals, including the Caloocan City Medical Center.

“Ngayon po, nasa 1.24 milyon na tayong kababayan ang saklaw ng PhilHealth sa inyong lungsod at sa bansa po, 93 milyon na po ang benepisyaryo ng ating PhilHealth program,” he reported.

For Caloocan’s social welfare, the Chief Executive said his government has widened the coverage of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for the city.

From 2,141 households, the government has expanded the 4Ps’ coverage to include 31,510 households, which form part of the 4.6 million families receiving support from the government through the program.

Based on the government’s initial assessment, he said, some 7.7 million Filipinos have been lifted out of poverty as a result of the implementation of the 4Ps.

“Naisasakatuparan na natin ang mga dating inakalang imposible. Pati mga hindi natin ipinangako, tayo na rin po ang tumupad,” President Aquino said.

“Nagawa natin ito nang walang dagdag na pasanin sa ating mga Boss, maliban sa Sin Tax na layunin paunlarin ang ating serbisyong pangkalusugan.”

The President also called on the people of Caloocan to choose the right candidates running for office come election time in May.

He enjoined them to vote for the candidates of the administration for the continuation of the reform programs that he has initiated.

Prior to meeting Caloocan’s local leaders, President Aquino attended the turnover of two new four-storey, 20-classroom school buildings at the Grace Park Elementary School, built by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the Department of Education, and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The P40-million structure, built under PAGCOR’s “Matuwid Na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project, is expected to benefit some 1,000 students this coming school year. PND (as)

Prince Albert II of Monaco to visit the Philippines
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco will be in the Philippines next week for a two-day official visit, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. has announced.

“His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, will undertake an Official Visit to the Philippines from 6 to 7 April 2016 upon the invitation of His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III,” Secretary Coloma said in a statement on Wednesday.

Prince Albert II will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Park on Thursday (April 7), and will proceed to Malacañang Palace for bilateral talks with President Aquino.

“The two leaders and their respective delegations are expected to discuss bilateral issues of common interest, such as economic cooperation, humanitarian assistance, sustainable development, and environmental protection, among others,” Coloma said.
President Aquino will also host a luncheon in honor of the visiting monarch.Prince Albert II, a well-known advocate of strengthening marine environmental protection, will also visit Palawan and the Tubbataha Reefs National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Coloma said. PND (kt)

President Aquino: Manufacturing sector has bounced back due to greater interest in Phl
(BIÑAN CITY, Laguna) The Philippines’ manufacturing sector has rebounded in recent years as a result of increased interest in the country, its large pool of skilled workers, and reforms carried out by the administration, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday.“Philippine manufacturing has made a definitive comeback. From 2010 to 2015, the industry posted an average annual growth of 7.6 percent; compare this to the 3 percent average growth from 2001 to 2009,” the President said during a visit here to the facility of Kaertech Electronics Philippines, Inc.

The world is discovering how the Philippine brand is synonymous with quality, and everyone is seeing the early fruits of this development, he said, noting that Kaertech’s presence in the Philippines is proof positive that this growth is not driven by simple manufacturing, and that the Philippines is obviously making its way up the value chain.

President Aquino pointed out that in recent years, companies have started to set up shop in the country to produce high-tech equipment.

“Apart from smart toothbrushes, we have been chosen as the manufacturing site for a lot of aircraft components, medical equipment like hemodialysis treatment devices, and—hopefully, our contribution to the global fight against global climate change—electric tricycles, amongst others,” he said.

The President also assured that his administration will do everything to continue sustaining this trend.

Part of the strategy is ensuring that companies in the manufacturing sector have access to employees with the right skillsets, and the country has already made significant progress in this regard, he said.

For instance, he said, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) Training for Work Scholarship Program has helped many Filipinos acquire the skills they need to join the job market.

The President reported that the employment or placement rate of the program’s beneficiaries was at a mere 28.5 percent between 2006 and 2008, but rose to about 71.9 percent by 2014, owing to extensive consultations and partnerships with the private sector.

The President further mentioned that there are industries that have greater absorptive capacity through the program, such as the semiconductors and electronics industry, where the employment rate for TESDA graduates has reached more than 95 percent.

There is also a general upward trend in the number of yearly graduates from science and engineering courses, he added.

“These are welcome indicators, especially as government seeks to continue the revival of Philippine manufacturing,” he said.

“Apart from increasing the access of the business sector to skilled workers, this can be done by providing services that encourage companies to conduct more and more of their processes here, rather than abroad.”

The President said that in exploring a number of options in connection with its Philippine operations, including setting up a new factory and creating a development team in areas of electronic, mechanical, and software development, Kaertech cannot go wrong with the Filipino people because they are hardworking, creative, and loyal.

“And with the support of a government that is more equipped than ever to empower your industry, the foundations for continued success are firmly in place,” he said.

Founded in 2009, Kaertech provides engineering design services and manufacturing.

Its goal is to provide customers with an “all-inclusive solution” by offering research and development (R&D) engineering and manufacturing services for telecommunication products, multi-media tools, electronic modules, consumer electronic goods, household appliances, and industrial products. PND (as)

President Aquino: Right choice of leaders will ensure continuity of government projects in Laguna
(CITY OF STA ROSA) President Aquino asked the people of Laguna to support administration candidates so that major projects in the province could continue.

In a meeting with the local leaders of Laguna on Thursday, the President said his administration poured a huge amount of money to develop the province’s infrastructure, healthcare system and social welfare.

For instance, for public works, he said that from 2011 to 2016, the national government allocated P12.61 billion for Laguna.

Comparing it to the allocation of the previous administration, he said that from 2005 to 2010, the past government just allotted P3.36 million for the province.

Among the major infrastructure projects that were completed include the Lipa-Alaminos Road, the widened Manila South Road, Sta. Rosa-Ulat-Tagaytay Road and the widened San Pedro Bridge.

At the national level, the government has so far constructed more than 18,000 kilometers of national roads and 107,000 lineal meters of bridges, he said.

The government is also building the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 and the North-South Railway Project South Line.

He also reported that the government has so far awarded the 44.63-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway or CALAX.

Under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, the government allocated P195.74 million from 2010 to 2014 to build and rehabilitate hospitals, rural health units, urban health centers, and barangay health stations in Laguna.

“Kasabay nito, pinalawig natin ang PhilHealth, na nagbibigay-benepisyo sa 2.59 milyong taga-Laguna. Kabilang po sila sa 93 milyon na suportado po ng PhilHealth na programa sa buong bansa,” the President said.

Many Lagunenos also benefitted from the expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the government or 4Ps.

The President said when he took office in 2010, there were just 903 households in Laguna who received support from the government.

Under the present administration there are 44,550 households entitled under 4Ps in Laguna, he said. The government targets to cover 4.6 million households in the entire country under 4Ps this year.

Recent government assessment shows 7.7 million individuals are being lifted out of poverty as a result of government’s pro-poor initiative.

“Mga Boss, idiin ko po, kita na ninyo at ng buong mundo… na posible na talaga ang dating imposible,” he said.

“Sa Daang Matuwid, pati ang mga hindi natin ipinangako, tayo na rin ang tumupad. Nagawa natin ito nang walang dagdag na pasanin sa sambayanan, maliban sa pagreporma sa Sin Tax.”

“Ang akin: Tulungan po ninyo kami na ituloy ang paghahatid ng benepisyo na walang dagdag na pasanin sa inyo.”

Before joining local leaders in Laguna, the President visited a manufacturing facility in Binan, Laguna, that manufactures smart toothbrush.

He said renewed confidence on the Philippines has revived the manufacturing sector in the country, coupled with the large pool of highly skilled workers and a much better business environment. PND (as)