09 Feb 2016

Palace welcomes survey results showing drop in joblessness rate
A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing a decrease in the country’s adult joblessness rate in the last quarter of 2015, which brought the annual average rate down to its lowest level in 11 years, “affirms our collective progress under Daang Matuwid”, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement issued on Tuesday.The SWS, in its Fourth Quarter 2015 Survey, reported that adult joblessness fell to 21.4 percent from 23.7 percent in September 2015, bringing the rate for 2015 down to 21.9 percent from 25.4 percent during the previous year. This annual average is the lowest since 2004.

The SWS also noted an improvement in job market optimism. According to the survey, 45 percent of adults—up from 35 percent last September—expect the number of available jobs to increase in the next 12 months. Only 16 percent expect otherwise, down from 21 percent.

“Over the past five and a half years, the Aquino administration has made significant strides, not only in terms of economic growth but also toward greater inclusivity. Apart from successfully reaching a 6.2 percent six-year moving average of real GDP (gross domestic product) growth—the highest in 38 years, since 1978—the government continues to maximize our resources toward better citizen welfare, resulting in lower rates for self-rated poverty and hunger, and increased optimism,” Secretary Lacierda said.

Whether by working to attract more investments or by accelerating the resolution of job-skills mismatch through such agencies as the Department of Labor and Employment and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), “the government remains committed to continually improving the lives of our Bosses,” he added.

The Palace official expressed hope that “our fellow citizens who have made Daang Matuwid possible will achieve the continuity necessary for a better and brighter future” when they vote for new leaders in May.

The SWS survey was conducted from December 5 to 8 last year among 1,200 adults nationwide. PND (cl)

President Aquino leads inauguration of Capiz road project
(CAPIZ) President Benigno S. Aquino III here Tuesday led the inauguration of the 6,200th kilometer of paved national roads.

The road upgrading of Jct. National Road Mianay-Duyoc – Calaan-Panitan Road was carried out by the Capiz 2nd District Engineering Office.

The P151.68-million project, implemented in five phases with Phase 5 still ongoing, covers a total of 8,040.3 linear meters. It will finally connect with the same road project under the jurisdiction of the Capiz 1st District Engineering Office.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which implemented the first phase in 2012, has already completed Phases 2, 3 and 4. The department bid out the fifth phase in November last year.

Upon the completion of the project, the government expects the travel time from Jct. Mianay, Sigma in Capiz 2nd District to Panitan town in Capiz 1st District to be reduced from one hour to 30 minutes.

Neighboring towns and provinces will also benefit as a result of the shorter travel time that would enable farmers and producers to bring their products to the market and warehouses more quickly by bypassing the town of Ivisan or Barangay Timpas in Panitan.

Those coming from central Iloilo can also now take a shorter route to the northern portion of Iloilo province.

In briefing President Aquino, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said that at the start of administration in 2010, the DPWH promised to complete 7,200 kilometers of national roads.

“Nakagawa na po kami ng 6,200 kilometers magmula ‘nung nag-umpisa, pero maliban po riyan, nakadagdag na po kami ng 1,500 kilometers of road na napapakinabangan na po ng mga mamamayan, lalong-lalo na ang ating mga turista nationwide,” Secretary Singson told the President.

He further noted that the DPWH has already surpassed its quota of 7,200 kilometers of roads by completing 7,700 kilometers. This figure, he said, is separate from more than 2,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads already completed.

Singson also reported that in Panay Island, out of a total of 1,783 kilometers of national roads, the DPWH has already paved 1,729 kilometers of roads as of last November.

He said the remaining 54 kilometers will be completed by the DPWH this year.

Singson also said that in terms of budgetary allocation to Panay Island, the government had allotted P15.5 billion from 2005 to 2010, compared to P42 billion from 2011 to 2016 under the Aquino administration. PND (as)

President Aquino asks Capizenos to support administration candidates
(CAPIZ) President Benigno S. Aquino III joined the kick-off rally of the Liberal Party’s lineup, asking the people of Capiz to support the administration bets to continue the gains of the Daang Matuwid advocacy that he has expoused in the past five years.

In his speech during the launch of the administration candidates here, the President said the May elections will be a referendum on whether or not the people will support Daang Matuwid.

“Kayo po ang magdedesisyon kung ang pagbabagong ating tinatamasa ay magiging permanente o tatanawin lang bilang panandaliang bakasyon sa isang mahabang kasaysayan ng laganap na katiwalian at kahirapan,” he said.

He noted that his advocacy has already transformed the country — from being a “sick man of Asia”, the Philippines has become the fastest growing economy in the world, surpassing even the region’s biggest economies.

As a result of a stronger economy, he said, the government has lifted 7.7 million people out of poverty and completed major infrastructure projects that help the people.

The President cited that the Department of Public Works and Highways has allotted P7.29 billion for infrastructure projects in Capiz from 2011 to 2016.

The figure, he said, is three times bigger than the P2.18 billion budget allocated for the province from 2005 to 2010.

The Chief Executive further reported that all the target sitios in Capiz under the Sitio Electrification Program have been energized as of last month.

President Aquino noted that as his term nears its end, he wants a successor who will continue his programs.

“Dapat masiguro ko sa inyo, bago ako umalis, nasa mas maayos na kalagayan kayo na aking mga boss. Mahalaga pong masiguro na ang mga susunod na pinuno ay itutuloy ang Daang Matuwid,” he said.

“Hindi na ako magpapaligoy-ligoy pa, ang kailangan ay ang kapareho ng ating pananaw, ang nagmamahal sa Pilipino at tiyak na uunahin ang bayan bago ang sarili. Walang iba po kundi ang tambalang Mar Roxas at Leni Robredo.”

The President lauded Roxas’ achievements at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as he responded from crisis to crisis.

He said that as interior secretary, Roxas created an anti-criminality drive in the National Capital Region by launching the “Oplan Lambat Sibat”.

“Ang resulta: ang dating 919 na insidente kada linggo ng robbery, theft, at carnapping mula Enero hanggang Hunyo 2014, napababa sa 375 noong Hulyo 2014 hanggang Abril 2015. Mahigit 50 porsyento pong pagbaba ito sa bilang ng krimen kada linggo, kaya’t mas marami nating kababayan ang nailalayo sa peligro. Dahil po sa epektibong implementasyon ng programa, inilunsad na rin ang ‘Oplan Lambat Sibat’ sa iba pang rehiyon,” the President said.

He also said that Roxas has proven his competence and integrity with his quick response to such crises as the Zamboanga siege, the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu, and Typhoon Yolanda that devastated Eastern Visayas.

The Liberal Party’s senatorial candidates include Senator Franklin Drilon, former Justice secretary Leila de Lima, former Pampanga governor Mark Lapid, former senator Panfilo Lacson, and COOP NATCCO Party List representative Cresente Paez, Senator Teofisto Guingona III, former Akbayan representative Riza Hontiveros, former senator Francisco Pangilinan, former energy secretary Jericho Petilla, senator Ralph Recto, and DILG assistant secretary for Muslim Affairs Nariman Ambolodto. PND (as)