21 March 2015

Palace announces new appointments
Malacañang announced a new batch of appointments to various government positions, including a member of Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Southern Leyte.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte made the announcement during an interview on government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed Jessica Marie Escaño-Pano as member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Southern Leyte.

President Aquino also named Ramil G. Gabao as chairperson of Professional Regulatory Board of Criminology, Professional Regulation Commission.

Also appointed were George O. Fernandez and Ruben A. Sta. Teresa as members of the Professional Regulatory Board of Criminology.

President Aquino signed their appointment papers on March 11. PND (co)

Palace renews call for Filipinos in Libya to return home
Malacañang on Saturday reiterated the call to remaining overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in conflict-striken Libya to avail of the mandatory repatriation program of the government and return home as soon as possible.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Foreign Affairs has been repeatedly making the call for immediate evacution since it raised Crisis Alert Level 4 in Libya in July last year.

“When the situation in Libya started to become volatile, 13,000 po ang Filipinos na nandoon. So far, ang nasa bilang po natin ngayon, 4,000 po ang natitira,” Undersecretary Valte said.

“That’s why we’ve been repeatedly making the call to please come home because iba na po ang nagiging sitwasyon doon,” she said during an interview on government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

The Palace official said some 4,000 OFWs are still in Libya and efforts to repatriate them have become more difficult.

“Ngayon, nahihirapan na rin ang gobyerno doon sa logistics, kasi wala na ang mga commercial flights na papasok unlike before. Talagang mas masalimuot na ngayon ang proseso ng paglalabas sa kanila,” Valte said.

“Kaya patuloy po nating sinusuportahan ang ating Foreign Affairs Department kapag sinasabi po nila doon sa mga natitira pa hong 4,000 Pilipino doon na huwag po nating isaalang-alang ang ating kaligtasan. At importante pong ligtas sila para makasama ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay,” she said.

Valte also urged families of the OFWs in Libya to convince their loved ones to heed the government’s call for immediate evacuation as it is no longer safe for Filipino workers to remain in the conflict-striken country.

“Hopefully, mas maraming mag-avail ng repatriation operations natin doon kasi, again, the challenges become greater as the days pass. Hopefully, talagang mas marami na ang matuto,” she said. PND (co)

Government prepared to cushion impact of ‘El Niño,’ says Malacañang
The Aquino government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for the effects of weather phenomenon El Niño in the country, a Malacañang official assured on Saturday.

During an interview on government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan Deputy, Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Agriculture is on top of the preparations.

“Pagdating po sa preparations, at least for the El Niño, siyempre, una po ang DA natin diyan—ang Department of Agriculture,” Valte said.

“Kasi ang importante po sa atin ay masigurado ang patuloy na pag-supply ng tubig, irigasyon doon sa ating mga crops, lalo na sa mga area na tinatamaan po nito, at alam ko namang nakikipag-usap na rin po ang mga regional na NIA (National Irrigation Administration) natin para naman matulungan ang mga kababayan natin doon,” she said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier confirmed that the country is currently experiencing a mild case of El Niño.

In an earlier statement, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala said although El Niño is here, “we are prepared, it will not turn out to be the sum of all of our fears.”

Secretary Alcala has already directed all DA regional offices, concerned bureaus and attached agencies nationwide to prepare for the impact of the weather phenomenon.

The Agriculture secretary has also called on farmers and the public to conserve water as a precautionary measure in case the country experiences a prolonged dry spell. PND (co)