19 Apr 2016

President Aquino: The voice of the people will prevail
(CALBAYOG CITY, Samar) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday vowed that the voice of the Filipinos will prevail in next month’s elections.”Wala akong balak na papayagan kong mandaya dito. Obligasyon kong manigurado na ‘yung gusto ng taong bayan, ‘yun ang umiral pagdating ng ika-siyam ng Mayo,” President Aquino said before local leaders and members of the community who gathered at the sports center here.

In his speech, the President touted the projects of the administration in the province.

President Aquino said the government spent P435 million from 2011 to 2016 for farm-to-market roads, P2.32 billion for irrigation, and P12.94 billion for other infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, ports, airports, school buildings, health facilities, and government buildings in Samar.

He said some 57,711 households in the province are now beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, 785,000 are members of PhilHealth, and 3,500 people have graduated from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) Training for Work Scholarship Program.

“Wala ho akong probinsyang pupuntahan, wala akong lugar na pupuntahan na hindi natin masasabing ang dami ng napagtagumpayan natin… Ibig sabihin ho noon, pag nagsalita tayo, gusto nating i-angat ang kabuhayan ng Pilipino, gusto nating ibigay ang lahat ng oportunidad sa bawat Pilipino,” he said.

Noting that he has only 70 days left in office, the President thanked the people, saying it was an honor and a privilege to have served them.

“Lahat ng ginawa natin ngayon dahil sa inyo. Kayo ang nagbigay ng tiwala sa akin. Kayo ang umalalay sa akin ‘nung nandoon ako. Kayo ang tumulong sa akin… At ang layo na nga ng kayang gawin sa Pilipinas,” he said.

Winding up his speech, President Aquino urged the people to vote for the administration’s candidates to ensure the continuity of the government’s reform program.

“Manindigan tayo doon, lumapit tayo sa lahat ng ating malalapitan at siguraduhin natin ang Daang Matuwid na kung saan naglalakad na tayo ngayon, bukas, sa pagtatapos nang ika-siyam ng Mayo, tumatakbo na tayo sa Daang Matuwid… at ang layo-layo na natin!,” he said. PND (kt)

President Aquino inaugurates 59-megawatt Solar Power Plant in Negros Occidental
(SAN CARLOS CITY, Negros Occidental) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday led the switch-on ceremony of the 59-megawatt (MW) San Carlos Sun, Inc. (SaCaSun) Solar Power Plant in Barangay Punao here.The P3.7-billion solar power plant, which sits on a 75-hectare property inside the San Carlos Ecozone, is a joint project of AboitizPower and Sun Edison Philippines. It began delivering energy to the Visayas grid last March 9, days before the March 15 deadline set by the Department of Energy for solar power projects under the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT).

“The solar plant we are inaugurating today is certainly a step in the right direction. It is yet another reason for us to be optimistic and confident about the future,” President Aquino said in his speech after the switch-on ceremony.

The Chief Executive was assisted by Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr., and San Carlos City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor, as well as AboitizPower Corporation Chief Executive Officer Erramon Aboitiz, and Chief Operating Officer and President Antonio Moraza.

The President’s youngest sister, TV talk show host Kris Aquino, also witnessed the event. Other officials present were Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento and chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy Reynaldo Umali of Mindoro Oriental.

The SaCaSun solar power plant will deliver 85 gigawatt hours of clean and renewable energy annually to the Visayas grid. It is AboitizPower’s first foray into solar energy generation and the 29th renewable energy generation facility.

President Aquino expressed optimism that more companies will follow the footsteps of AboitizPower, whose solar power plant capacity can provide electricity in case of power shortage in the Luzon grid.

He also cited the economic incentives for investors in renewable energy development, such as income tax holiday and duty-free importation of renewable energy equipment.

“It is such a welcome development to see that solar is becoming more prevalent and affordable, and our administration’s hope is that even more companies follow in your footsteps. This hope is reflected in how we have helped pave the way for you to invest here, in the form of competitive economic incentives. Investors in renewable energy development receive a 7-year income tax holiday, 10-year duty free importation of renewable energy machinery, and Feed-in-Tariff rates, among many others,” said the President.

“Through such measures, we are confident that, with the growing number of believers from the private sector, we can truly achieve our goal of increasing our renewable energy-based capacity to 15,304 MW by 2030. And I am certain that, as we welcome even more advances in renewables, we can minimize our reliance on fossil fuels, increase the share of renewables, all without jeopardizing the price structure,” he added.

President Aquino said that with only 72 days remaining in office, he is hopeful that the Aboitiz company “can remain a consistent partner and continue its trend of working with government, investing in the Filipino, and helping shape a better future for mankind”.

“I am likewise hopeful that our productive partnership can set an enduring framework by which sectors, public and private, converge to build a nation that we can be proud to bequeath to the next generation,” he said.

According to AboitizPower, the solar power plant will help prevent the emission of more than 44,000 tons of carbon dioxide over 20 years—the equivalent of taking some 10,000 cars off the road.

More than 4,000 residents in this city as well as neighboring towns, including 1,500 women, were able to get jobs during the construction of the solar power project. The women assembled parts of the solar panels while the men carried the assembled parts for installation in the solar farm.

AboitizPower is one of the country’s leading developer and operator of renewable energy plants, which include hydro and geothermal. With the completion of SaCaSun, the renewable energy portfolio of AboitizPower and its partners accounts for 38 percent of the 3,350 MW total net sellable capacity of renewables nationwide.

Sun Edison, a company based in the United States, is one of the top manufacturers and developers of solar technology around the world. Its more than 1,000 operational sites worldwide produce about 14,040,387,364 kilowatt hours. PND (jm)

Malacañang condemns abduction of five policemen in Davao
The Palace has condemned the abduction of five officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Davao City last week.“We join the PNP in condemning this lawless act against our police officers, who were performing their duty to protect the security and well-being of our people,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The Palace official said the PNP is exerting efforts to apprehend the suspects, while ensuring the safety of police officers.

According to news reports, five PNP personnel on board patrol car No. 82 of the Davao City Police Office, were abducted at about noon on April 16 by heavily armed men. PND (jd)

President Aquino reports about government accomplishments in Cebu
(ARGAO, Cebu) With 72 days left before leaving office, President Aquino bid farewell to Cebuanos Tuesday reporting to them the accomplishments of his administration in less than six years.

Speaking before the Cebuanos during a meeting with the local community here, the President thanked local residents for giving him the opportunity to serve them.

Among his administration’s major projects include the wider implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that now benefits less than five million Filipino households.

In 2010, Cebu had only 5,000 households benefiting from the program, now, the province has almost 150,000 households under 4Ps, he said. Nationally, there were 780,000 households enrolled under 4Ps in 2010 but today there are 4.6 million households receiving support from government.

Based on recent assessments, the President said 7.7 million Filipinos were lifted out of poverty because of the 4Ps implementation.

Reporting on his accomlisments in the education sector, the President said that in the previous administration congressional districts must divide 8,000 classrooms in the country.

Under the Daang Matuwid, there were 7,889 classrooms built for Cebu only and these are part of the 185,000 constructed by the administration throughout the Philippines, according to the President.

For healthcare, the national government allocated for Cebu’s health facility enhancement program P444.51 million to improve the province’s Barangay health centers, rural health units and other facilities.

For PhilHealth coverage, there are four million Cebuanos who are benefitting from Philhealth and they are part of the 93 million Filipinos receiving health services.

For Cebu’s farm-to-market roads, the national government allocated P1.6 billion and this includes the Argao communal -irrigation system Phase II, the President reported.

Under the government’s Sitio electrification program, 2,170 sitios in Cebu were all energized based on the latest government report. Cebu’s sitios are 100 percent energized, according to the President.

In 2011 assessment about 32,441 sitios were not connected to the grid, but the government was able to energized 32,688. And the President said there were 1,500 sitios which will soon be electrified through renewable energy.

Those sitios are too far that they can’t be connected to the grid so the government will be using solar energy to provide them electricity, the President said.

For infrastructure development, from 2005 to 2010 the national government allotted P12.6 billion for Cebu, under the Daang Matuwid, P34.8 billion was given to the province from 2011 to 2016 for its infrastructure development.

These projects include the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. From 4.5 million annual passenger capacity of the Mactan Cebu airport, it is estimated to go as high as 15 million annual passenger capacity once the new terminal is completed, President Aquino said.

The construction of the passenger terminal building is already ongoing, he said.

The Mactan Island circumferential road, and the Serging Osmena Boulevard were also competed and they are part of the 18,000 kilometers of national roads, and 107,000 lineal meters of bridges built by the government. PND (as)