11 June 2016

President Aquino thanks Filipino-Chinese businessmen for their support
President Aquino expressed his gratitude to Filipino-Chinese businessmen in the country for being a government partner in the past six years to uplift the living condition of every Filipino.

In a speech during the joint celebration of the 118th Philippine independence and 15th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day, the President said the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) has been carrying out programs such as medical missions, building schools, and extending donations to different government agencies.

For instance, the organization has an average of 45 medical missions every year, where at least 800 Filipinos are attended to per mission, and vitamins and medicines are provided free of charge.

The FFCCCII also helped the national police by donating vehicles, equipment, and even funding.

“There is your drive to provide students with safe and durable classrooms, and families with low-cost housing,” he said.

“There is your consistency, your dependability whenever disaster strikes: whether it’s a fire, a typhoon, or an earthquake, the FFCCCII has always been ready to help victims of calamities.”

The FFCCCII is also instrumental in fostering greater understanding and closer ties of friendship between the Philippines and China—whether in terms of cultural activities, trade and investment, or even by becoming a channel of communications especially with the the dispute in the South China Sea, the President said.

The President also recognized the help of the Chinese-Filipino businessmen in the country, which allows the Philippines to achieve bullish economic growth, even surpassing its Asian neighbors.

“We are the new darling of Asia; our economy is among the most resilient and the best performing in the world, which I’m sure you have felt in your respective businesses,” he said.

“More than 7 million Filipinos have risen above the poverty line—7 million Filipinos who have the ability and the confidence to work in your factories and offices, or who have the capacity to buy your products and make use of your services.

This resulted to so much optimism for the Philippines, noting he believes businessmen also think and feel the same.

The Philippines is marking its 118th Independence Day Sunday with President Aquino leading the ceremonies at the Rizal Park in the morning.

He is also expected to welcome the members of the diplomatic corps at the Palace for the annual Vin D’honneur. PND (as)

Palace calls for more volunteerism to prepare for school opening on Monday
The Palace called for greater public cooperation for the smooth opening of classes on Monday, June 13 to avoid usual glitches.

“Nananawagan tayo sa ating mga kababayan na pairalin natin ang diwa ng bayanihan. Magkapit-bisig at mag-tulungan tayo para tiyakin ang maayos, tahimik at maaliwalas na pagbubukas ng school year 2016-2017 sa darating na Lunes,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“Pagtulungan natin ang lahat ng aspeto ng pagpasok sa paaralan,” he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Coloma cited a report from the Philippine Information Agency about the ongoing preparations in the Cordillera Administrative Region, which he said mirrors similar activities that are being done in different parts of the country in preparation for the school opening.

The activities in CAR, which are being done simultaneously throughout the country, want to ensure that students are already enrolled, and ready to attend classes on Monday, he said.

DepED first launched the Brigada Eskuwela last month and this is followed by Oplan Ligtas Eskuwela to ensure orderly school opening this Monday.

Different government agencies are working with DepEd, he said. Among these agencies include the Department of Public Works and Highways, to ensure that there are enough school buildings for students. DPWH also repaired dilapidated classrooms.

The Department of Trade and Industry also works with DepEd to make sure that school supplies are enough and prices remain affordable.

“Merong din inilunsad ang DTI na gabay sa presyo ng school supplies para hindi magkaroon ng pagsasamantala, na pagtataas ng presyo ng mga kagamitan ng mga mag-aaral,” Coloma said.

The Department of Health also has education and prevention campaign to help students fight diseases.

In CAR, authorities launched 4S to fight dengue fever. 4S means:
Search and destroy mosquito breeding places; use Self-protection measures; Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than two days; and Say yes to fogging, according to Coloma.

Another aspect of Oplan Ligtas Eskwela is to make sure that everything is orderly during the school opening and the Philippine National Police is the lead agency for this campaign, Coloma said.

“At sa programang ito ay inuutusan ang lahat ng tanggapan ng pulisya na magsagawa ng foot patrol at mobile patrol sa paligid ng mga paaralan at tiyakin ang police visibility,” he said.

The PNP puts up police desks in every school to manage traffic and ensure the safety of students.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is also working with the PNP and school officials for the conduct of anti-drug use seminar in different schools.

“Makikita natin na talagang komprehensibo ang paghahanda at masinsin yung pakikipag-ugnayan ng lahat ng ahensya ng pamahalaan para tiyakin ang maayos na pagbubukas ng klase sa lahat ng ating mga paaralan, lalong lalo na sa ating mga public schools at ito ay nasasalamin sa lahat ng rehiyon ng bansa,” the Palace official said. PND (as)

Palace thanks Qatari Emir for pardoning Filipino prisoners
Malacanang expressed its gratitude to the Qatari emir after giving Royal clemency to 15 Filipino prisoners as part of the the observance of Ramadan.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa Emir of Qatar, si Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani sa paggawad ng kapatawaran o clemency sa 15 Pilipino sa panahon ng banal na buwan ng Ramadan,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a radio interview Saturday.

“Ito ay manipestasyon sa patuloy na mainam na pakikipag-ugnayan ng Pilipinas at Qatar,” Coloma said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

The Philippine Embassy in Doha reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that royal clemency was extended to 15 Filipinos as issued by the Qatar’s emir in light of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Those who were given clemency are often those who have served a substantial portion of their sentence.
The Emir usually issues pardons twice a year, during Ramadan and the Qatari National Day in December. PND (as)

Palace issues precaution due to Mount Bulusan’s restiveness
Citing recent reports by volcanology experts, the Palace warned the people near Mt. Bulusan of the danger following its eruption on Friday.

It was reported that more than 18,000 people are affected by the eruption of Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon.

Based on the recent report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Office of Civil Defense, the alert status for Mount Bulusan was placed at Alert Level 1 (abnormal).

“At ito ang kanilang paliwanag: Merong mga aktibidad sa ilalim ng bulkan na maaring panggalingan ng steam driven eruptions,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“Binibigyan ng abiso ang mga LGU at ang publiko na hindi dapat pumasok doon sa 4 kilometer radius permanent danger zone para maiwasan ang panganib at maging ligtas,” he said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Civil aviation authorities also advised pilots to avoid flying near the summit of the volcano because of the danger.

Residents are also advised to evacuate areas that might be affected by eruption as materials could flow there as well as steam, ash materials and lahar, according to Coloma.

“Ang DOST PHIVOLCS ay patuloy na masinsin na tinututukan ang Bulusan Volcano at lahat ng mga dapat na pag-ingatan at paghandaan na ipinapaabot sa ating mga mamamayan,” the Palace official said.

State seismologists on Friday announced that Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon erupted close to noon Friday, June 10.

As of 11:55 a.m., PHIVOLCS noted a 2,000-meter ash plume rising from Bulusan 11:55 a.m. Friday.

Authorities haven’t received reports of damage or casualties. PND (as)