12 May 2015

Malacañang extends its condolences for the passing of Representative Enrique Cojuangco
The Palace extended its condolences to the family of Tarlac First District Representative Enrique Cojuangco, who passed away Tuesday morning.

The Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives announced Representative Cojuangco’s demise on Tuesday morning.

“We convey our deepest condolences to his bereaved family. Representative Cojuangco served for two terms and was known and admired for his professionalism and dedication to public service,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement Tuesday.

Cojuangco, 74, succumbed to aneurism early Tuesday at The Medical City.He was president of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and chairman of the House committee on economic affairs.

Cojuangco was an uncle of President Benigno S. Aquino III and the brother of business tycoon, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

Before becoming a member of Congress, he served as vice chairman of San Miguel Corporation. PND (as)

Government’s investment in social services paying off
The Palace has attributed the survey results showing a drop in the number of Filipino families experiencing involuntary hunger in the past quarter to such government initiatives as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the expansion of PhilHealth coverage, saying the administration’s investment in social services is paying off.

“The welfare of the Filipino people has always been at the front and center of the Aquino administration. Under Tuwid na Daan, various agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, and Department of Health continue to pursue initiatives like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the K to 12 reform in basic education, and the expansion of PhilHealth coverage,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement released on Tuesday.

“All these contribute to a better quality of life for our people, equipping them to find better opportunities to lift up their families and, ultimately, the nation. The administration’s investment in social services—in the form of budget increases—is truly paying off,” he said.A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted from March 20 to 23 among 1,200 respondents nationwide, found 13.5 percent, or an estimated 3 million families, experiencing involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.

This marks a 3.7-point decrease from 17.2 percent, or about 3.8 million families, recorded in December 2014, the lowest in 10 years since May 2005, when it was at 12 percent.

The SWS defined “involuntary hunger” as having had nothing to eat at least once in the past three months.

“This 3.7-point drop translates to an estimated 800,000 families no longer experiencing involuntary hunger,” said Lacierda.

“Rest assured that in the remaining months, we will continue our vigorous efforts to empower our citizens to achieve the Filipino dream,” he added.

Some 36.6 percent of the P2.606 trillion national budget for 2015 has been allocated to social services, such as education, health care and social protection.

Under the 2015 national budget, P62.3 billion has been allotted to support 4.3 million poor families under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, while P37.1 billion has been earmarked for the health insurance benefits of 15.4 million poor and near-poor families.

To support the K to 12 Basic Education Program, the budget has set aside P53.9 billion for the construction of 31,728 classrooms, and P3.5 billion for the purchase of 70.5 million textbooks and other instructional materials. PND (ag)