10 December 2016

President Duterte slated for Cambodia, Singapore swing
President Rodrigo Duterte is undertaking state visits to Cambodia and Singapore next week which was confirmed by Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose in a predeparture briefing in Malacanan.

“President Rodrigo Duterte will undertake a state visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia on December 13 and 14, 2016 upon the invitation of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, and to Singapore on December 15 and 16, 2016 upon the invitation of His Excellency Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,” Jose said on Friday, Dec. 9.

Both trips form part of a series of the President’s introductory visits to neighboring Asian countries.

“During his visit to Cambodia, the President will have a royal audience with His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace followed by a State Banquet,” Jose said.

The President and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting, where they are expected to discuss issues of mutual concern, including defense and security relations, bilateral trade, protection of Filipino-Cambodian migrant workers, and cultural and tourism cooperation, among others.

The two leaders are also expected to talk about the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship in 2017, which will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-Cambodia diplomatic relations.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were formally established in August 1957.

The President is also scheduled to meet with the more than 5,000 Filipinos living and working in Cambodia before flying to Singapore.

During his State Visit to Singapore, President Duterte will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The President will also be feted at the State Banquet hosted by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and meet with the members of the Filipino community.

President Duterte and Prime Minister Lee are expected to discuss ways to further increase the levels of two-way trade and investments, strengthen defense and security cooperation, including counter-terrorism and war on drugs, the welfare of Filipinos living and working in Singapore, and the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017.

The Philippines and Singapore established diplomatic relations in 1969. The two countries have enjoyed close relations, both bilaterally and within the context of the larger ASEAN Community.

In 2015, Singapore was the Philippines fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade amounting to approximately 8.8 billion US dollars.

Moreover, there are an estimated 180,000 Filipinos residing and working in Singapore.

“The visit underscores the two countries’ commitment to deeper and more meaningful bilateral and regional relations,” Jose said.###PND

Duterte leads groundbreaking of Pulanai Hydroelectric Power plant
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte yesterday led the groundbreaking ceremony of the Pulanai Hydroelectric Power Plant in Valencia City, Bukidnon.

Based on the Department of Energy data, the 10.6 Megawatt Facility was among the hundreds of power generating projects approved by the department for this year.

The Pulanai plant, owned and operated by Repower Energy Development Corp., will rise in Zone 11, Hangaron, Barangay Lumbayao in Valencia City.

In his speech on Friday Dec. 9, Duterte congratulated Pure Meridian Hydropower Corporation for venturing into the hydroelectric power business.

He urged New People’s Army rebels to stay away from power plants and to stop demanding revolutionary taxes from the power companies.

“May I ask the New People’s Army, ‘wag itong hingaan kasi pag nagkuha kayo ng pera sa kanila, itong mga mag-plano naman kung paano pataasan nila ‘yung electric,” the President said.

The President told the communist rebels that aside from power plants, they should also keep away from other vital utilities such as communication.

“Energy, communications, everything, lay-off,” he said.

Meanwhile, the release of about 120 communist detainees cannot be done until the government makes major headway in the peace talks with the National Democratic Front.

President Duterte said he would have to delay the release of the prisoners, mostly members of the NPA.

“I denied it. I declined to do it because I have given so much too soon. Sabi ko sa kanila, produce to me a document which is that you have agreed to an indefinite ceasefire. Do not put the term there, huwag kang magbigay ng timeline because this will be a long and winding road sa negotiation,” he said.

The Pulanai Hydroelectric Power Plant is expected to help meet Mindanao’s power requirements and spur economic activity in Bukidnon.

Just recently, the President also led the ceremonial switch-on of the 135-kilowatt Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion power plant of Palm Concepcion Power Corporation in Iloilo at the Malacanan Palace.###PND

PH FOI advocates attend Open Government Summit in Paris
(Paris, France) – Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar, together with Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno, joined other global leaders in government, academe, media, and multilateral organizations at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Paris, France on December 7-9, 2016.

“As a prime mover of executive FOI, we are here to share our initial experience in Freedom of Information and learn from the veterans of open government and open data,” Andanar said.

The Philippines was also invited by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to the attend the OGP ministerial roundtable held at OECD headquarters in Paris on December 8.

“The Philippines is in the forefront because of the launch of Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte,” Secretary Andanar added.

The OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

This year’s summit was hosted by France. French President François Hollande opened the event in the plenary on December 7.
Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public information and mass media, was also at the biennial event.

Aside from the summit, the Philippine delegation took time to interact with the Filipino community in Paris. In the meeting, organized by the Philippine Embassy in France led by Ambassador Maria Theresa Lazaro, Andanar and Diokno addressed the audience and talked about the accomplishments and future programs of the government.###MARO-CONTENT

Malacañan welcomes all-time high consumer confidence on Duterte administration
Malacañan on Saturday said the latest results of the consumer expectation survey (CES) conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is proof that the Duterte administration is not only concentrated in the anti-illegal drugs campaign but also on efforts to alleviate the plight of the Filipino people.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Paz Banaag said President Duterte is not only concentrated in eliminating illegal drugs but also on improving the lives of the Filipinos.

Banaag welcomed the BSP’s Fourth Quarter 2016 consumer expectation survey, which rose to a new all-time high of 9.2 percent from 2.5 percent in the third quarter of this year.

“This government, this administration, the President is working so hard and it is not all about the drug war, it is all about a lot of things that the President is concerned about and especially so, alleviating the plight of the Filipino people,” Banaag said in an interview with Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, December 10.

“Doon natin nakikita kasi mas maganda mag-focus tayo sa mga positive lalo na at Pasko, diba? Na maraming nangyayaring ibang bagay sa ating bansa, maraming pinagtutuunang ibang bagay ang ating Presidente,” she said.

“All sectors in the government are working and doing their best para mapaunlad ang ating bansa at nagre-reflect ‘yan dun sa impressions din ng ating mga kababayan at ‘yung positive outlook ng business sector sa ating bansa,” she added.

The Palace official cited that in President Duterte’s trips abroad, the President has nothing in mind except how to gain something to bring back home to help improve the lives of the Filipinos.

She also noted that the President has been working hard, almost even without rest.

President Duterte is slated for a State Visit to Cambodia and Singapore next week as part of the President’s introductory visits to neighboring Asian countries.

Banaag said, ”President Duterte has the Chairmanship of the ASEAN for next year. That’s why the President has to sit down, attend meetings, bilateral meeting with other countries for the ASEAN next year.”

She added that while Duterte is satisfied with the country’s preparation for ASEAN Summit in 2017, there is still room for improvement.

“Satisfied naman ang Pangulo. But you know, we can give more. We can do better — always better, hindi lang good, always better,” emphasized Banaag.

Banaag meanwhile said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade continues to have the trust and confidence of President Duterte despite calls for Tugade’s resignation.

“Secretary Tugade, as a presidential appointee, enjoys the trust and confidence of the President,” Banaag said, noting that the DOTr is doing its best to solve the traffic woes.

Meanwhile, Banaag said the Palace condemns human rights violations and is against extrajudicial killings.

Banaag said the Philippines is one with the rest of the world in the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day.

“We are one with all the Filipino people and all those celebrating worldwide with the Human Rights Day,” she said.###PND