04 July 2016

Palace officials to gov’t workers: Give public what is due them

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told palace employees that in order to help President Rodrigo R. Duterte achieve his goals, the support of everybody, particularly those in the government service, will be crucial.

During the new administration’s first flag-raising ceremony on Monday morning at the Kalayaan Hall grounds in Malacanang, Medialdea said, “The thrusts of President Duterte’s administration are peace and order, good governance, the fight against corruption, the fight against illegal drugs, and the upliftment of those who have less in life and in law.”

He requested palace personnel and all workers in government to extend their solid support, regardless of their personal opinions and preferences, to President Duterte’s administration. “He is a good person. This forward-looking administration is committed to keep on supporting those employees who have performed with competency, efficiency, dedication, and integrity, whether permanent or co-terminus.”

Medialdea related the beginning of his friendship with the President which goes back several decades, which started when he sat on the chair of a prosecutor in Davao, and that prosecutor turned out to be Rodrigo R. Duterte.

He said, “The story is not about friendship but of a public servant willing to give courtesy or comfort to the public he serves. His giving up a seat was a gesture of a public servant.”

In the same event, Abella said, “We are here today because people who felt excluded believe the promise that we made, that they too could have a comfortable life — life unbounded, unburdened by corruption, a life unhampered by crime, a life unthreatened by illegal drugs, a life free to pursue their dreams of a better world. So let us not let them down.”

Abella said, “People who lost faith in government are willing to trust in it again and should not be disappointed by doing what was promised, compassion or ‘malasakit’ and change or ‘pagbabago’. They want their leaders to care about them and they want the miserable conditions of their lives to change. So let us inspire them.”

“Together, let us build a nation that is righteous, peaceful, and joyful. Let us trust God who placed us here to enable us to be worthwhile servants. So why are we here? In the President’s famous words: ‘Because we are ready to begin the work right now.’ So let us do so. Let us begin the week and the next cycle of years with excitement in our hearts to do what we have been told to do,” Abella further said. PND

Gov’t to address hunger through inter-agency collaboration

The government will carry out concerted efforts to address hunger in the country through its frontline agencies, as more families claim they experience involuntary hunger based on the first quarter Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

“It’s being addressed by the proper departments,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Monday when asked about the SWS survey result.

For instance, he said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has launched a program to combat hunger and malnutrition which he said is a symbolic measure of the government’s effort. “I cannot give you now the specific details as to the exact programs that are addressing it. But definitely, the Agriculture [department] is addressing that and so is DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), the clusters are addressing that,” Abella said.

Pinol had earlier vowed to make milk feeding in public schools a nationwide program to eliminate malnutrition among children. This will also give dairy producers a market for their produce which has been a lingering problem for the industry.

Meanwhile, Abella said the conditional cash transfer program, which was a major anti-poverty program of the previous government, is also being reviewed.

Some 3.1 million Filipino families claimed to have experienced “involuntary hunger” in the first three months of 2016, with a significant rise noted in Mindanao, according to the SWS survey released on Monday. Results showed that some 2.6 million Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the last three months of 2015. The survey was conducted from March 30 to April 2. PND (as)

Pres. Duterte, VP Robredo in first Palace meeting

A “cordial” meeting was held Monday afternoon in Malacanang between President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Vice President Leni G.Robredo when the country’s second highest official paid a courtesy call on the President.

Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) was told that the President and Vice President had a closed-door meeting in which VP Robredo expressed full support to the leadership of President Duterte.

According to Robredo, her courtesy call on President went well, describing it as “cordial”. “Natutuwa tayo na nagkaroon tayo ng pagkakataong makausap ang ating pangulo (I am happy that I had a chance to meet with our President),” she said after the meeting.

“Sinabi natin sa Pangulo na buong buo ang suporta natin sa kanya dahil ang kanyang tagumpay ay tagumpay ng ating bansa (I relayed to the President my full support because his success is the success of the entire nation),” she added.

This was the second meeting between Robredo and Duterte since being elected into office following the May 9 elections. The first was at Camp Aguinaldo on Friday during the change of command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Robredo said she will cooperate and work with the new administration. “Mula simula, bukas po tayo sa pakikipagtulungan sa bagong administrasyon at ang amin pong naging pagpupulong ngayong hapon ng pangulo ay lalong nagpapatibay rito (since the start, we have been open to working with the new administration and the meeting with the President strengthened this),” the Vice President said. PND (la)

Pres. Duterte declares July 6 as regular holiday

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar announced in a press briefing in Malacanang that July 6 has been declared by President Rodrigo R. Duterte as a regular holiday in the entire country.

Proclamation 6 issued on Monday declared the Eid’l Fitr or Feast of Ramadan as a regular holiday.

Andanar said the proclamation is in the spirit of peace and harmony, which would allow the entire nation an opportunity to join the Filipino Muslims in the observance and celebration of this sacred Islamic tradition. PND (aa)