31 October 2015

Government to set up coconut factory in Samar to improve farmers’ income
(ARTECHE, Eastern Samar) A project that will harness the full potential of coconut will soon continue after some delays for the benefit of the people of Samar, President Aquino said on Friday.

During a speech here, President Aquino said coconut farmers in Eastern Samar have limited income because of the lack of coconut processing facilities in the province and if there are such facilities they only process coconut oil.

But he said his administration funded a project being spearheaded by an expert from Bicol State University that will harness not only coconut oil but also other coconut products to expand the farmers’ income.

“Ang problema ho kasi tila kakaunti ang ating processing plant para sa paggawa ng produkto mula sa niyog at ito yata’y natutukoy lamang sa coconut oil o sa kopra,” the President said in a speech here.

“Palagay ko alam naman po ninyo ang niyog, ultimo ‘yung bunot pinanggagalingan nang tinatawag na coco coir, may factory na yata dito ngayon ng coco coir. Meron ding coco sugar. Marami hong iba’t ibang produkto.”

The project, headed by Dr. Justino Arboleda of the Bicol State University, encountered some delays because it is funded by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, he said.

Now that the government remedied some of the concerns, the President promised to carry out the project immediately.

Once a coconut factory is set up and becomes successful, the government could recoup its investment in three years, which could be given to other farmers’ organizations to implement a similar project, he noted.

“Kapag nga po napatunayan natin na itong proyektong panukalang ito ay talagang kagana-gana sa ating mga kababayang nagniniyog, iyong pondo mismo manganganak nang manganganak para mai-replicate at mapunta sa ating magsasaka upang tulungan silang masagad ang kanilang kita,” he said.

The factory will process not only coconut oil but also other products. PND (as)

President Aquino tells Samarnons to vote for right candidates
(ARTECHE, Eastern Samar) Eight months before stepping down from power, President Aquino told the people of Eastern Samar to vote for the right individuals who could continue the programs that he has started in the province.

Because he will be exiting next year after the election, the people must now consider choosing a competent successor, he said.

“Ako ho hindi ko na puwedeng ipagpatuloy ito, kaya hindi ko puwedeng sabihin sa inyong tatapusin ko lahat ‘yan,” he told the people of Arteche in his speech.

“Meron lang akong walong buwan natitira. Kayo ang magsasabi kung sino ang magtutuloy. Pagdating ng botohan—ipaalala ko lang ho sa inyo—pagdating ng botohan, ‘yung boto ko, ang bilang ay isa rin.”

“Kaya tayong lahat na boboto, tayo ang gagawa ng direksyon natin.”

There will be candidates for next year’s election who will make promises, but he said he fulfilled all of his promises to the people when he run as president in 2010.

He said the goal of his administration is to uplift the lives of the people. And as the economy grows, the government also tries to expand its benefits by building more infrastructure and providing livelihood, he said.

The President also told the people to recognize the sacrifices made by the members of his Cabinet who worked tirelessly and selflessly to achieve the goals of his administration.

“Ang punto lang ho ay talaga namang seryoso kami. Kapakanan namin, komportable kami, hindi. Komportable at kapakanan muna nang kapwa ang inuuna,” he said.

The President was in Arteche Friday for the 50th foundation anniversary of Eastern Samar as well as to inspect the infrastructure projects of the government in the province especially the road network and bridges. PND (as)

Bullet-planting scam at NAIA upsets Palace, vows to probe the issue
Malacañang on Saturday said it is upset over the so-called ‘tanim-bala’ or bullet-planting scam happening inside Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals recently and this concern has already reached President Benigno S. Aquino III.

In a radio interview, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said both President Aquino and Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Abaya have instructed airport authorities to investigate the incident.

“Nakakalungkot po na nangyayari ito. In fact, to be perfectly honest with you, we have raised it with Secretary Jun Abaya and the President and that’s why may instructions po galing kay Pangulong Aquino at kay Secretary Jun Abaya na tingnan nang maayos itong nangyayari dito sa ‘tanim-bala’ na ito,” Lacierda told Radyo ng Bayan.

According to Secretary Abaya, additional closed circuit televisions (CCTV) were already placed inside the premises to better monitor the situation, Lacierda said. He also reminded the public to always be mindful of their suitcases.

“We should make sure that we pack our belongings doon po sa luggage para klarong-klaro wala hong makapagsasabi na tayo mismo ang naglagay (ng bala) para we rule out any evidence na… We rule out any proof na talagang ang may kagagawan po ‘yung pasahero,” Lacierda said.

Perpetrators of this ‘tanim-bala’ scam reportedly work by extracting a bullet or two, which they themselves planted, from a passenger’s luggage and then subject him to various intimidations thus forcing him to pay his way out of trouble.

“Let’s make sure that talagang tayo lang po, wala po ‘yung mga inihahabilin; kung (may) inihahabilin, inspeksyunin po ninyo kung ano ‘yon para we rule out na talagang… We rule out na hindi tayo ang naglagay, ang pasahero ang hindi gumawa niyan. We should rule that out clearly,” Lacierda stressed.

A syndicate working inside NAIA is allegedly behind this scam and Lacierda said they are going to take a hard look at this claim. “Kung talagang may sindikato diyan, titingnan po ng ating kalihim na si Secretary Jun Abaya,” he said.

Lacierda also said he understood why some passengers are apparently getting paranoid over this incident but he assured them that authorities are already working to address the situation.

“We’re looking at the process. We’re looking at how it happened. We’re looking at the personnel involved. We want to assure the public that… We want to take away that fear from them. We will ensure the safety of each and every passenger who uses our terminals po. So we are taking a hard look at that,” he said.

Lacierda further stated that he would inform Secretary Abaya and Manila International Airport Authority Jose Angel Honrado of other concerns such as the reported cartel of taxis outside the airports and the one involving foreigners caught sneaking illegal drugs. PND (hdc)

Government lays out plan for All Saints’ Day, says Palace
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has already instructed local government units to deploy police and medical personnel in preparation for the observance of All Saints’ Day this weekend, the Palace said on Saturday.

“In preparation for All Saints’ Day this weekend, DILG Secretary Mel Sarmiento has directed local officials to mobilize law enforcers and medical personnel and set up contingency plans to prevent untoward incidents,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

“We hope for the public’s cooperation as we work together to ensure peace and order.”

During the interview, Lacierda reminded families traveling to the provinces to always do the necessary preparations and always make sure that every member is safe.

“The government is there to help you, the DILG, and all the agencies of government who are required to assist,” he said.

“Don’t hesitate to ask for their assistance. But first and foremost let’s keep safe.”

For the people visiting memorial parks, Lacierda advised them to always take precautions because there are people who might take advantage of overcrowded areas.

“So be very conscious, be mindful of your surroundings,” he said. PND (as)

President Aquino gives some ambassadors additional jurisdictions
The Palace announced the designation of some ambassadors to cover additional jurisdictions aside from the the area they currently handle.

Among those being new jurisdiction were Ambassador Maria Fe Pangilinan of the Republic of Hungary, who will now oversee Romania, Republic of Bulgaria, and Republic of Moldova, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan on Saturday.

Ambassador to South Africa Joseph Gerard B. Angeles is given additional jurisdiction and will handle Republic of Madagascar and Republic of Mauritius.

Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier, the country’s ambassador to Portugal, will now cover Republic of Cabo Verde, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, and the Republic of Angola.

Ambassador Carlos Sorreta, who handles the Russian Federation will oversee Republic of Kazakhstan. Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Jose Burgos has been given jurisdiction over Bolivia and Venezuela.

Philippine Ambassador to the US, Jose Cuisia, is given authority to cover several jurisdictions such as Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Commonwealth of Dominica, Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia. PND (as)

Palace calls on critics not to politicize income tax issue, gov’t pro-poor initiatives
A Palace official appealed to government critics to stop politicizing the government pro-poor programs as well as the income tax law as the country gears towards elections next year.

Some government critics said not acting on calls to lower the income tax rate mean lack of sympathy for lower or middle income individuals.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. even called on the President to make the lower income tax as Christmas gift to ordinary workers.

But in a radio interview on Saturday, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda clarified that the government is not against giving workers higher take home pay but reforming the income tax law needs a thorough study.

The government must look at the entire picture of the tax system and determine the cause and effect of adjusting income tax rates.

“Walang debate na kailangan nating repasuhin ang mga tax law. There is no debate on that,” Lacierda old dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“So let’s not mislead people to saying that ang administrasyon, si Pangulong Aquino, ang pambato ng Daang Matuwid ay hindi sang-ayon diyan. We need to reform… We need to have a comprehensive review of the tax law.”

For those criticizing the administration saying it does not have sympathy for ordinary people, Lacierda said the government has carried out many pro-poor programs in the last five years and will continue to do so in the remaining days of the Aquino administration.

For instance, he said that the government have invested P75 billion for conditional cash transfer (CCT) assisting 4.4 million families considered poorest of the poor.

This is equivalent to more than 20 million of the country’s population, he said.

As a result of better tax collection system, the government was able to increase the allocation for CCT, widen PhilHealth coverage, and build more classrooms, he noted.

The administration carried out such programs without raising taxes except for the sin tax, he said. He added that they will not allow some candidates to misinform the public especially during the campaign season.

“Trabaho po nating sabihin kung ano ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan at marami pong ginagawang serbisyo ang ating pamahalaan sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.

“Kaya huwag na huwag nilang sasabihing walang puso ang gobyerno, walang malasakit ang gobyerno. Sa buong anim na taon ng ating gobyerno, gagawin po lahat para matulungan ang mga nasa laylayan ng ating lipunan,” Lacierda added. PND (as)