Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan with Assistant Secretary Jonas Soriano – Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Cabinet Secretary

Event Press Briefing
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building

ASEC. ABLAN:                                                Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the Malacañang Press Briefing Room and welcome to this Special Press Briefing. I am Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan, and I’m filling in for Secretary Martin Andanar. Let me read his speech:

We are gathered today for a national program on self reliance and active citizenship. Representatives/participants from different communities will convene to formulate the manner by which basic services can be delivered to the sectors that needs them the most. ‘Ang Biyaya ng Pagbabago’ o ‘The Blessing of Change’ is the essence of the government’s intent to lift and improve the quality of life of every Filipino, it resonates the totality of what has been termed as the ‘whole-of-governance’. A description of how a comprehensive package of needs can be supplied through the reciprocity, wherein the government gives what is due to the people who will receive them with the responsibility to better their lives on their own.

This simply means, that the government gives what it is expected to give, and the people receive what they are expected to be responsible for. From December 1st to the 9th, selected participants will gather and converge from Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya to Pangasinan, from Marilao, Bulacan to Parañque, from Bacoor to Batangas, from Lucena to Marinduque, from Naga to Tacloban and Ormoc, from Cebu to Cagayan De Oro, to Bukidnon all the way to Davao. This movement weaves the different communities throughout the country with the threads of capacity-building and participatory governance. The baseline of poverty would be elevated by the pyramidal ladder of progress. No sector would be left untended. The Blessing of Change indeed would be in everyone’s breath.

Our operations and communications office would manage the network of information dissemination through our various media facilities in print, radio, television and the internet. The magnitude of our coverage should be heard, seen, read and felt by all ages, genders, beliefs and affiliations. Our work has no place for political dissent or opposition, because the ‘Blessing of Change’, ang ‘Biyaya ng Pagbabago’ as expressed by our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is, God, Country and People. Thank you and fair forward.

At this juncture, may we welcome Assistant Secretary Jonas Soriano, the Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Cabinet Secretary to lead the Press Briefing. Asec. Jonas…

ASEC. SORIANO:                          Let me read to you the statement of Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco:

Good afternoon everyone. Today, 17 months after the inauguration of the President, the Office of the Cabinet Secretary in partnership with several agencies, offices of government will launch the ‘Biyaya ng Pagbabago’ or ‘Blessings of Change’ on December 9, 2017 at Freedom Park, Davao City. The event will be attended by no less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with the 12 agencies under the Office of the President under Executive Order No. 1, other government agencies, civil society groups led by the groups under the Kilusang Pagbabago.

The President stated on his first State of the Nation Address, he seeks a transformation of the country through the promise of a better Philippines based on ‘pagmamalasakit, pagbabago, at patuloy na pag-unlad,’ especially expressed in the Philippine Development Plan 2017 to 2022, and the National Security Policy 2017-2022. In response to this call, the ‘Biyaya ng Pagbabago’ Program aims to achieve the 3 outcomes which we would like all of us to be part of: one, government services become more responsive, adequate, timely and effectively delivered to those that need the most; second, citizenship are active, communities are empowered in participatory governance and in an inclusive economic development; and third, a whole of government sector and area of focus, poverty alleviation strategy is operationalize, initially in selected provinces and in the 5 years in all the areas in the Philippines.

At the core of this program are the various offices of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, led by the Office of the Participatory Governance. This office will take the lead in mobilizing and empowering citizens, organizations and civil society groups so that they can actively participate in this program. The strategic action and response office which includes the Presidential Complaint Center and 8888 will make sure people’s requests, actions and complaints will be responded to by the various government agencies. The Performance and Project Management Office will ensure coordination and harmonization among government agencies and the 6 cabinet clusters, and finally the Office of the Supervised Agencies will work very closely with our colleagues here who are now present, of the 12 agencies to ensure that all programs achieve the aim of this program.

These agencies include, The Cooperative Development Authority, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, The National Anti-Poverty Commission, The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, The National Food Authority, The National Youth Commission of the Office of the President, The Presidential Action Center, The Philippine Commission on Women, The Philippine Coconut Authority, The Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor, and The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

To inform the public of the programs, Asec. Kris mentioned of a caravan which will enjoin government agencies and different groups under Kilusang Pagbabago, and they started this morning at Lagawe in Ifugao. One hundred personalities including the Municipal Administrator were present to commit themselves to this program. They will now move from Ifugao to Pangasinan, Bulacan, Parañaque, Cavite, Lucena, Marinduque, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, all the way to Davao. This will serve as an information campaign to galvanize the people again to support a move to beg people participate for change.

While on the way, programs where civil society groups, Kilusang Pagbabago supporters, local government units and selected government agencies will pledge their manifestos and statements of their support. So there will be programs on selected areas, and we are asking again the people to join us in these areas. These details will be discussed later as we ask for more questions. Joining in and letting the people know of the programs, we want all our agencies to listen to the people and we will also try to discuss the programs with the Filipinos, because what we want is ‘biyaya,’ is a blessing. After nabuo ang Kilusan ng Pagbabago, after nangyari ang pagbabago, hindi pa sapat ang nararamdaman ng tao.

So the following agencies are here to show their support: PCA Deputy Administrator Roel; CDA Chairman Orlando Ravanera; NCIP Chair Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo; a friend of mine… PCUP, former congressman, Chairman Terry Ridon; TESDA Deputy Director General Diosdado Padilla; HUDCC Director Stefan Corregidor; National Youth Commission Head for Communications Mignonette Reposar; Representatives of our office led by Asec. Reuel Velarde of the Office of the Participatory Governance; Representatives also of the Office of Supervised Agencies led by Director Cirio Pastolero; and, Representatives of the Office of [Star?].

Thank you and we hope to see you all in the launching activity with President Duterte in Davao at the Freedom Park on December 9, 2017. Let’s help bring 6 million Filipinos sustainably out of poverty. Let’s improve the lives of the Filipino people. Kunin na natin ang biyaya, kunin na natin ang biyaya ng pagbabago. Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Thank you very much.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                                Thank you, Asec. Jonas. Are there any questions from the Malacañang Press Corps?

No questions so far… Asec. Jonas, how about… do any of our representatives from the 12 agencies have anything to say about the… yeah.

ASEC. SORIANO:                          Can we ask… sir…

CDA CHAIR RAVANERA:          Thank you so much Asec. Jonas, Asec. Kris for giving me this privilege to say something about our office.

You know what? I’d like first to say that by nature, by nurture and by law, cooperativism is really to combat poverty. When I say by nature and by nurture, it is really to empower the people, the marginalized sectors to be drawn into the mainstream of development processes. And when I say by law, well actually it is very clear in the 1987 Constitution, “to create an office that shall promote their viability and growth of cooperatives as instrument of social justice, equity and economic development.”

Actually Asec. Jonas, I have a lot to share. We have now about 26,600 cooperatives, with some 14 million members, and from 26 types of cooperatives. Ang sabi po nila, ito ang tanging lunas sa kahirapan. Pinapatay ng kooperatiba ang 5-6… pero hindi ang Indian, 5-6 lang (laughs). Ito po ay… it’s a liberating force especially sabi po nila, the Philippines is an agricultural country. Any short or long term development can be won or lose through agriculture. Eh noon po, nagkaroon kami ng malawakang pagtitipon ng mga magsasaka, tinanong ako Asec. Kris, sabi nila, “Chairman sabihin mo nga sa amin, galing sa aming lupain ang pagkain, bakit ang aming lamesa walang pagkain?

Not anymore… because of cooperativism, we are able to successfully, together with the DAR, the agrarian reform program. Sabi po nila, agrarian reform and cooperativism and are two sides of the same coin – they are the social justice measures. So first I’d like to report here, the 2100 cooperatives of our ARVs are now owning the land they are tilling. And secondly, kasi ang mahirap, you are tilling the land not your own – not anymore this time. And this time, sinasabi po namin… they are now controlled the mode of production and marketing. We have more than 10 thousand cooperatives of our peasantry, and we can claim that they are really combating poverty.

Iyong sabi po nila, and we are happy to note na under this dispensation, we are now launching this. Kasi sabi nila, if I may… final statement lang po. Sabi nila, for those who have dreamed, advocate and even, died for it, social change seems to be so elusive all these years despite 14 years of martial law and 2 people power revolution. The structure and systems that are breeding poverty are still as formidable as ever. But we claim now, not anymore under this present dispensation, because nakita po namin… eh nakalagay doon eh – actually I’m from Mindanao, sabi nila “the root cause of poverty especially in Mindanao, is the powerlessness of the people,” and as account-revealing measure, they have to be empowered. What else? By harnessing their collective potentials through cooperativism.

So under this dispensation, ang laki po talaga ng binago ngayon lalo na sa mga grassroots. When we were put under the Office of the President as the first executive order, the whole cooperative… sa Pambansang Kooperatiba po ay talagang nagpapasalamat sa ating mahal na Presidente by putting us under the Office of the President. Thank you so much po.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                                Thank you very much, Chair Ravanera of the CDA. Before we proceed Asec. Jonas, I think a while ago also, we failed to recognize PCW Executive Director Emmeline Versoza po. And then, sir…

ASEC. SORIANO:                          We also have a statement coming from NCIP.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                                Chair Leonor Oralde-Quintayo po…

CHAIR QUINTAYO:                     Good afternoon, everyone…

As provided in Section 39 of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997, the National Commission on Indigenous People is mandated to promote and protect the interest and well-being of the indigenous cultural communities, indigenous peoples with due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions. To promote and protect the rights of the indigenous peoples including the socio-economic rights, the first step is to secure their lands through the government issuance of an instrument that will formally recognize their ownership.

This is the Certificate of Ancestral Domain titles, with ownership secured, accompanied by assistance of the government, the indigenous peoples will be able to develop their domains using the indigenous knowledge, systems and practices or IKSPs, interfacing with contemporary technologies as embodied in the Ancestral Domain Development and Protection Plan or the ADDPP of the indigenous peoples can correct their—or can convert their domains into productive lands.

Anchored on the resorts of consultations with the representatives of the indigenous cultural communities, civil society groups, other stakeholders and personnel of the Commission, the NCIP has come up with the 6 strategic directions for the period 2016-2022 – primarily geared at promoting peace and reducing the incidence of poverty among the indigenous peoples in line with the President’s economic agenda.

So for NCIP, we have 3 priority programs for this ‘Biyaya ng Pagbabago’. As mentioned earlier, the ancestral domain titling of the NCIP so far, the NCIP has already issued 216 Certificate of Ancestral Domain titles all over the country, measuring 5.—more than 5.1 million hectares. And hopefully on December 9, we can award 2 ancestral domain title already registered with the Register of Deeds. This covers more than 160 thousand hectares of ancestral domain in Mindanao, specifically in Region XI.

And NCIP also endeavored to collaborate with other government agencies to ensure that the ancestral domain, sustainable development and protection plan of the indigenous peoples are implemented and funded. And so with the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, we are now working on this particular initiative.

And finally, NCIP has launched its flagship program – we call it ‘PIPEs’, the Philippine Indigenous Peoples Ethnographies. PIPEs aim to produce from 2017 to 2022, written descriptions of all the indigenous peoples in the country containing the following data: the indigenous peoples of the Philippines including counts of population, description of the ancestral domains, lands example in maps ready for overlay with other maps, socio-economic conditions, biodiversity of the ancestral domains, indigenous knowledge, systems and practices, ancestral domains, sustainable development and protection plan, indigenous political systems, capacity development plan for personnel and community leaders, and the indigenous peoples peace agenda.

Thank you very much.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                                Thank you very much, Chair Leonor Oralde-Quintayo with your indulgence. Asec. Jonas, may we call on the Chair of the PCUP, Chair Terry Ridon to give a few words.

PCUP CHAIR RIDON:                 Magandang araw po sa ating lahat. Tatlo lang naman ho iyong babanggitin po naming malalimang reporma na inabot sa panahon po ni Pangulong Duterte. Una ho iyong kaniya mismong ipinangako sa taumbayan, iyon pong “no demolition without relocation” directive – so isa po ito doon sa loob ng lagpas isang taon ay ipinapatupad po nang mahigpit ng Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor. Ibig sabihin po nito, wala pong pinapayagan na mga demolisyon, whether court ordered o public infrastructure-led demolition, pagka ho walang aktuwal na pabahay na ibinibigay sa atin pong mga kababayan o pampinansiyang assistance o tulong na ibinibigay po sa kanila.

Pangalawa, sa panahon ho ng pagsusulong po ng Build, Build, Build, isa po doon sa itinutulak ng Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor kasama po ng lahat po ng mga ahensiya ng pabahay ng atin pong pamahalaan, ay iyon pong pagtitiyak na sa pagpasok po ng Build, Build, Build ng lahat ng malakihang imprastraktura ay magkakaroon po ng puwang ang atin pong mga apektadong pamilya sa usapin po ng pabahay, pagka ho sila tatamaan po ng atin pong Build, Build, Build projects  at nasa pipeline na po iyan. Ibig sabihin, doon po sa pagsisimula ng south rail project mula po Tutuban papuntang Sorsogon ay naglalaan po ng pondo ang atin pong pamahalaan para tiyakin po iyong pabahay ng atin pong mga apektadong mga komunidad.

Ikatlo, kasama din po sa mga repormang ginagawa po ng PCUP kasama po ng Cabinet Secretary, ito pong pagkakaroon ng iba’t ibang mga proyekto na walang pondo mula sa gobyerno at wala din hong hinihinging bayad mula sa tao. Sa darating pong Disyembre ika-lima, ay i-inaugurate po ng PCUP kasama po ng Manila Water at ni Secretary Jun Evasco iyon pong water services project sa Lupang Arrienda sa Taytay, Rizal kung saan naipababa po namin mula 50 per cubic meter papunta sa 15 per cubic meter ang bayad po sa tubig sa mga komunidad ng maralita. Ito po ay magbebenepisyo ng mga humigi’t kumulang na limandaang mga kabahayan ng maralita. At sa susunod pong mga buwan ay hinahabol po namin na mai-replicate pa po ito sa iba’t ibang mga komunidad, at ipakita na ang totoong epekto ng pagkakaroon po ng ganito pong tipo ng pamamahala ay ang pagkakaroon ng aktuwal na benepisyo sa atin pong mga komunidad.

So iyon lamang po, maraming salamat po.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                                Thank you, Chair Terry Ridon of PCUP. I think it’s very rare that we have all of these agencies together in one room. So for the members of the Malacañang Press Corps if you have any questions, I think now is the best time to raise them. We’ve heard from CDA Chair Orlando Ravanera, NCIP Chair Leonor Oralde-Quintayo and PCUP Chair Terry Ridon.

Asec. Jonas, are there any other representatives from the different agencies who would like to take the floor?

ASEC. SORIANO:                          For now, they will be reserving what they’re going to say in the next few… because we will be holding regular press cons with you. In the end, what we really want is, the agencies will be asked to really talk about their programs. Kasi ang isang naging mahina for the last 25 years, most of the time, I’m not saying naman all ‘no… government plans on its own, and the people rarely know about this programs.

Well what we would like to happen is, these programs are really for the people… so in the next few weeks, months… we will be asking the different agencies especially under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary to explain the programs and to show what programs will we actually do so that the people can actually go to the office whether you’re organized or not.

The second one is, through the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, we hope to work very closely with the other agencies. We’ve seen for the last 17 months different organizations trooping to our office. First I’d like to say that even NAPC who is already here, they’ve been already talking to a lot of groups, maraming mga grupo… simple lang ang tinatanong – “May issue kami, paano namin ireresolba?” And that’s the essence also of this program, how do we make the services more efficient and effective. Is it a law that we have to change? Is it a program that has to reach the people?

So if these agencies for now, as they look at and they will look at the programs, please also go to them and ask them! Ang panawagan namin, you don’t need to be organized, what you need is to understand. President Duterte, when he launched this, he started a movement for change. The change will not happen if everything will rely on him. Davao City is such a small chunk of the Philippines, but he was able to do it in Davao. He has only less than 5 years to go.

Our challenge to all of you is, if we want to change this Philippines, we have to do it with him. Some people say, “No, you have to agree with him totally.” But that’s not the point, the point is already here. What we need to do is let’s come together. What are your issues? What are the programs? What do we need to do? Where are our battles next? Sometimes when you’re in government, it’s difficult to move because sometimes we also need your support to move.

Maybe my best example is even when… I remember some campaigns we did in Congress, some of the bills did not move because they needed the people’s support. Now we’re asking you in the Executive Branch, help us move these programs. Help it reach the right people… and help us make sure when it reaches the right people, it is done rightly, it is done efficiently, without corruption and that any person in the Philippines whether you’re organized or not, will be able to go up and say, “Okay, this program reached me. And I know it happened for my benefit.

So nananawagan na naman po kami, we need your help. It’s your time, it’s our time to try to make this change happen.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                                Thank you. If there are no other questions from the Malacañang Press Corps and our guests, that wraps up our special press briefing this afternoon. Thank you very much, Asec. Jonas. Thank you very much to all representatives of the agencies. Back to studio, good afternoon to everyone.

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source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau)

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