29 June 2017

Valiant uniformed personnel honored
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on June 28, Wednesday recognized the gallantry of uniformed personnel wounded during an encounter against the Maute terror group in Marawi City.

The Chief Executive personally checked the condition of 15 wounded-in-action soldiers and policemen at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

“Congratulations ha. Bilib ako sa inyo,” the President told the troopers.

He awarded each injured with the Wounded Personnel Medal.

The soldiers and policemen also received cash assistance which is sourced from the President’s Social Fund.

They were flown via presidential plane from Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday.

The President was accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Last week, soldiers required by medical professionals to be transported to Manila for further treatment also used the presidential aircraft for their transfer.

Duterte has committed to visit government troops wounded and killed in clashes against the Maute militants, who launched a rebellion in the Islamic City last month.

The latest count, as of 6 p.m. of June 27, showed that government casualties has reached 71. ###PND

Duterte graces PCCAI anniversary, thanks Chinese for assistance
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, June 28 expressed appreciation to the assistance of the Chinese to the country as he graced the 140th Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc. (PCCAI).

“I’m really very, very almost in the sense of gratitude sa Chinese,” the Chief Executive said in his speech at the Fiesta Pavillion of the Manila Hotel.

“So I was really very thankful to President Xi Jinping and to China and expressed my gratitude and to you guys,” he said, as he recalled his conversation with the Chinese leader during his visit in May.

Prior to his attendance to the PCCAI’s anniversary, Duterte led the handover of four cargo planes of firearms and ammunitions from Beijing.

In his speech, the President also acknowledged the officials and employees of the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center.

“I’d like to pay tribute and homage to the men and women behind the Chinese General Hospital when it was first established,” he said.

“I’m sure they are not around but their humanity and love of fellowmen remains and it is conveyed and transferred from one generation to another,” he said.

“Kaya sabi ko nga na ano, nung nalaman ko, pasalamat ako na mga sundalo pati libre diyan sa Chinese Gen,” the President added.

Joining Duterte at the event were former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Senator Richard Gordon, among others.###PND

Andanar cites PH-China cooperation to boost media development
MANILA, June 29 — Presidential Communications Operation Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar on Thursday commended the Philippine-China cooperation to boost the country’s communications skills.In his opening remarks during the courtesy call of Chinese delagation in Malacanang, Andanar admitted that he has learned a lot in his recent visit to China with regards to new technology used in broadcast, print and news wire agencies, and would like to apply these to the government’s integrated media arm — People’s Television 4 (PTV 4), Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), Philippine News Agency (PNA), and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

“Since it is the mandate of PCOO to cultivate a well-informed and enlightened citizenry, we are committed to ensure that through this forum, all our agencies may be able to communicate to our citizens the basic programs that they can avail of, as well as present our accomplishments,” he said.

Internally, Andanar said the PCOO has established the Comprehensive Communications Committee (CCC), which is in charge of setting the narrative of the country by promoting the government’s projects and initiatives thru its own communications channels.

“We have partnered with various Departments and agencies from the Executive branch, and civic groups to produce campaigns that will highlight the achievements of this administration such as ‘Dutertenomic’, ‘Real Numbers PH’, and ‘ASEAN 2017’,” he said.

For her part, Yang Xiuping, secretary general of the ASEAN China Center and head of the delegation, said the cooperation between ASEAN member countries and China is a chance to have exchange of ideas, information and experiences among different media entities.

It is also a chance to boost stronger relations between China and ASEAN nations and hopes to serve as “bridges” for the young generations.

Meanwhile, Andanar thanked the Chinese government for the USD1.4 million donation which will fund the upgrade of Radyo Pilipinas, a government-run radio station.

The PCOO chief also announced that by September, PNA, which is the only government news wire agency, will start operation of its Digital TV channel.

“We will ensure that through our various assets and media, we will disseminate the good news of genuine change to the most number of Filipinos. After all, this is what we are all here for — we owe our countrymen hope for a more prosperous future,” he noted. (PNA / By Lilybeth G. Ison)

All systems go for govt’s “Golden Age of Infrastructure”
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Thursday, June 29, declared that all systems are in place to usher in the Duterte administration’s envisioned “Golden Age of Infrastructure.”

During a press briefing at Malacañan Palace, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar gave a snapshot of his agency’s flagship projects as part of the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) briefings spearheaded by the Palace.

The DPWH chief explained the government’s comprehensive plan to build infrastructure, including more roads and bridges throughout the Philippines, with the end goal of decongesting the country and subsequently, promoting inclusive growth and development.

Villar cited that the 2017 budget for the administration’s infrastructure spending, which stands at P428.4 billion, is the highest in the country’s history.

“Now, this amount is equivalent to more or less five percent of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Ito na po ang pinakamataas na infrastructure spending sa history ng ating bansa, this is the highest,” he said.

“So, itong five percent ay para makahabol tayo. But we are expecting to increase this year on — every year until we’ve reached our target spending for infrastructure program,” he added.

Villar then assured that all infrastructure projects under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” initiative will be executed at the soonest possible time, with no issue of corruption.

“Para sa amin, hindi naman importante kung sino ang nagsimula. Sa amin lang, importante kung makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan… Basta lahat ng projects ay projects ng mga Pilipino. And it’s our mandate to finish them all. And we’ll continue to finish them all,” he said.

Villar likewise ensured that, whether or not Congress grants the President emergency powers to address the traffic crisis, his department will continue to work hard to meet the targets it set for the completion of all projects.

Among the infrastructure projects that DPWH will implement this year is the construction of two Metro Manila bridges across the Pasig River – the Binondo-Intramuros bridge in Manila and the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge connecting Makati and Mandaluyong – which will be financed by the Chinese government.

“So, this is a fruit of the foreign policy. This is because of our friendship with China and a fruit of our foreign policy and the foreign trips of our President. Nagbigay po sila ng $70-million grant,” Villar said, adding that they are targeting to start it by this year.

DPWH prepares Marawi rehab masterplan

Villar also gave updates on the planned rehabilitation of Marawi City following attacks by the Maute group.

He said his department’s priority at the moment is to upgrade the evacuation centers located throughout Mindanao, as well as the preparation of the master plan for the reconstruction of the war-torn city.

“After this incident, we’ll be ready. Naka-standby po ang lahat ng mga equipment ng DPWH, and currently, we’re coordinating with our ARMM counterpart in order to implement very quickly,” he said.

“The President wants to implement the rehabilitation very quickly. So, we’ve been preparing for this over the past few weeks,” he added.

Villar also guaranteed that the slow implementation of the housing project for the survivors of typhoon ‘Yolanda’ will not be repeated under President Duterte’s watch.

President Duterte approves 11 infra projects

In the same briefing, PCOO Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag disclosed that President Duterte has approved 11 infrastructure projects during the NEDA Board Meeting earlier this week.

These projects are: Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) Phase 1 Tagum worth P35.26 billion through local financing; The Malolos-Clark Railway Project (PNR North 2) worth P211.43 billion through official development assistance (ODA); Cavite Industrial Area Flood Risk Management Project at P9.89 billion through ODA; Clark International Airport (CIA) Expansion Project, which has a remaining investment requirement of P12.55 billion through local financing and operations and maintenance for Public-Private Partnership or PPP;

Education Pathways to Peace in Conflict-Affected Areas of Mindanao at P3.47 billion through ODA financing; The Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program – Philippines at P1.19 billion through ODA financing; New Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems Development Project, a 30-Month Loan Validity Extension and Reallocation of Funds at P10.87 billion through ODA financing;

New Configuration of the LRT Line 1 North Extension Project – Common Station / Unified Grand Central Station (North Extension Project) worth P2.8 billion through local financing; Change in Scope, Cost, and Financing Arrangements for the Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase II worth P4.62 billion through ODA financing; Change in Financing of the New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project – P10.86 billion through ODA Financing; and the Project Approval and Change in Financing of Chico River Pump Irrigation Project at P2.7 billion through ODA Financing.###PND

Duterte shifts focus to disaster resilience, scraps Quedancor

Malacanan ordered the shift to disaster resilience and the abolition of Quedancor in two Palace orders released Thursday.

Executive Order (EO) No. 29 renamed National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM), which is observed in the whole month of July every year, to National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM).

“The NDRM shall be collectively observed by all Filipinos throughout the country through the conduct of activities relative to building disaster resilience covering the four thematic areas of disasters, namely, disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, and disaster rehabilitation and recovery,” the EO stated.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is the primary responsible for the implementation of the programs and activities under the EO.

The EO reflects the government’s shift in focus from disaster awareness building to disaster resilience.

On the other hand, President Duterte, through Memorandum Order No. 13, has ordered the abolition of Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation (QUEDANCOR) for operating at a loss for the last five years.

QUEDANCOR, a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC), was created to establish a sustainable guarantee system towards improving access to credit in the agriculture sector,

Under the memorandum, its assets shall be liquidated to settle the outstanding liabilities of the corporation, while affected officials and employees will be provided with separation benefits.

A technical working group (TWG), composed of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and Land Bank of the Philippines, was organized to assist the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) in implementing the Order.###PCO-Content