09 March 2017

President Duterte urges councilors to keep public interest in mind at all times
President Rodrigo R. Duterte urged local elective officials to be guided by the noblest intentions and to keep in mind the public’s interest at all times despite unrelenting criticism.

Speaking before the Philippine Councilors League’s  10th National Congress  at the  World Trade Center in Pasay City on Wednesday, March 8, the President reminded councilors  that national progress relies immensely on peace and order at the local level.

“I hold it as an article of faith that …no progress and development can take place ‘pag ang lugar mo magulo at maraming krimen. Tandaan ninyo ‘yan,” the Chief Executive said in his speech.

Duterte, who served lengthily as a mayor and vice mayor in Davao City before he became President, reminded the councilors not to be swayed by critics, who are out to smear the government’s efforts to initiate meaningful change.

“Wala ka nang magawa eh so except to shut up. Otherwise, sabi nga ni Lincoln and it’s my favorite adage that if I… Sabi nga ni Lincoln and it is good for you to remember:

“If I were to try,” and I quote him, “If I were to try to read, much less answer all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I can and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. But if the end brings me out wrong, ten angels of God swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Commenting on numerous criticisms raised against him by other countries, President Duterte reiterated that public servants remain only “answerable to the Filipinos.”

During the event, the President also said the Philippines is reaping rewards due to its improved diplomatic relationships with China.

“They are willing to buy anything that we can sell. And may mga grants tayo and they will take care of yung railway from North to South, and we will begin immediately. Kita mo ‘yung sincerity talaga ng Chinese,” Duterte said.

“So let me publicly again thank President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people for loving us and giving us enough leeway to survive the rigors of economic life in this planet,” he added.

PCL  is presently led by its national chairman Elmer O. Datuin, national president Maybelyn DC Fernandez, vice chairman Mohammad Matabalao,vice president Benito J. Brizuela and national secretary-general Joaquin Emmanuel Pimentel.

The league was first conceived in 1989 and obtained its official  status as a local government association when it was accredited by the then Department of Interior and Local Government on September 1990.

The PCL’s 10th congress has  the theme “Your PCL Advocating Genuine Peace, Inclusive Growth and Countryside Development through  Federalism.###PND

PPP Center spells out projects; boasts faster  approvals
The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center on Thursday, March 9, assured that the Duterte administration is committed to improve the country’s infrastructure using quicker approval processes.

In a press briefing in Malacañan, PPP Center Executive Director Ferdinand Pecson reported about completed as well as ongoing projects, noting that the government’s approval process has become shorter.

“The President is impatient and, in fact, the message we are getting from him is that he is more concerned with the results rather than cropping up with a lot of documents being submitted to him,” Pecson said.

Pecson noted that in the last NEDA Board meeting a year ago, quite a number of projects were approved very quickly. He said there are also measures set in place to prevent anomaly from happening during the implementation of those PPP projects.

Currently, the Philippine PPP program has 50 projects in the pipeline worth P472.9 billion, Pecson said.

Completed projects are the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway, the NAIA Expressway, and the Automated Fare Collection System, more popularly known as the Beep Card.

The latest project to be completed is the Department of Education’s Phase 1 of the PPP for school buildings and infrastructure project, erecting 9,266 classrooms. The project benefits an approximately half a million students in the Ilocos, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon regions.

Pecson also reported that there are seven PPP projects simultaneously being built by the government’s private partners, in which four are transportation projects.

Among these projects include the Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s new passenger terminal, the MRT-7, and the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3. These projects are expected to benefit millions of commuters and motorists.

Another project that will help address the country’s transportation challenges is the Southwest Integrated Transport System, located within a 4.59-hectare land of the Philippine Reclamation Authority along the Manila-Cavite Expressway.

There are also four other transportation projects that are in different stages of pre-construction activities: the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension, the Cavite Laguna Expressway, South Integrated Transport System, and the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road.

Other PPP projects under construction include the Bulacan Bulk Water System and the computerization of the Civil Registry System of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The PPP Center official also reported about the five regional airport projects under the Duterte government. These are the airports in Davao, Iloilo, Laguindingan in Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, and New Bohol Panglao.

Another PPP project under procurement is the Regional Prison Facilities of the Department of Justice. The bid submission is scheduled in April 2017.

A modern prison facility will be constructed in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija to provide inmates at the existing penal facilities such as the New Bilibid Prison and the correctional institution for women, Pecson said.

PPP projects that are under review by implementing agencies are the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project, the LRT Line 6, NAIA PPP, North-South Rail Project South Line, Batangas-Manila Natural Gas Pipeline Project, and the Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project, according to Pecson.

In the same press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella took note of Australian firms favoring the Philippines as a BPO destination.

Abella also announced that five Chinese investors have shown interest in investing in the Philippines. The Department of Trade and Industry received the Letters of Intent from five Chinese firms, which showed their interest in doing business in the Philippines.

These are Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), International Aero-Development Corporation, Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group Co., Huili Investment Fund Management, Dalian Wanyang Heavy Industries, and YiDingTai International.

“These investments would generate a total of 15,500 jobs for Filipinos by 2022 in industries such as aviation, oil downstream, renewable energy, iron and steel, and shipbuilding and ship repair,” Abella said. ###PND

Duterte condoles with family of ambushed Davao police
BANSALAN, DAVAO DEL SUR – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, March 9, attended the wake of policemen who were killed in operation by alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

Upon his arrival at the Bansalan Municipal Hall where the remains of the fallen police officers lie in state, Duterte was warmly welcomed by Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas and other high ranking officials in the province.

Duterte immediately extended financial, medical, and educational assistance to the bereaved families. He also awarded the Medalya ng Kagalingan to the fallen.

Medalya ng Kagalingan or the PNP Merit Award is awarded to members of the Philippine National Police for a single act of heroism or a series of heroic acts in line of duty.

Bansalan police personnel PO1 Rholly Benelayo, PO1 Joey Narvaza, PO1 Saro Mangotara, and PO3 Jeden Mie Rabor, were killed in an ambush by alleged NPA members in Brgy. Sibayan in Bansalan on Wednesday, March 8.

Meanwhile, PO3 Allan Arnado, who was injured during the ambush incident, was also present during the wake.

Arnado was personally awarded the Medalya ng Kadakilaan by President Duterte. Financial assistance, medical and educational support were also provided.

The President said that what happened to the policemen was not an “overkill” but a “question of honor.”

“It’s a question of honor. Alam mo we fight a war and as the revolutionary ideology would put it, it’s a kind of ideological cannibalism because you devour your own kind. You kill your own brother and sisters in thy name in the altar of a revolution,” Duterte said in a media interview following his wake visit.

He also pitied the communists for what they did to the policemen, saying that people “would never want them in power.”

“I’m ready for all out war, another 50 years,” Duterte said, adding that he is now allowing the police and military to use all available assets.

He also assured everybody that both Armed Forces and the PNP would respond to their duties.

“I can assure you that the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police would respond. This time I’m using everything. I have encouraged the police to call in the air assets. Naa tay bag-ong jet eh. Make use of the rockets kanang sa bomba,” the President said. ###PND

Duterte asks help of local chiefs to fight terror
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, March 9 called on local chief executives to ensure that terrorism will not spin out of control in Mindanao.

In a meeting with local chief executives in Mindanao at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City, the President expressed his concern that terrorism might be hard to control in Mindanao and asked the help of the local chief executives to thwart it.

“So that’s why I called for you because kayo lang ang pwede talagang – to prevent it from spinning out of control,” Duterte said.

The President said local chief executives should take advantage of having the police and the military in helping thwart terrorism in Mindanao.

“If you would just insist, tutal nandiyan na rin ‘yung pulis sa inyo and you can ask the military commanders to pitch in for help if needed, why don’t you just also take advantage,” Duterte said.

As for his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, the President warned that local chief executives should not coddle drug lords.

“Huwag ninyong protektahan ang mga durugista, walang mangyari sa inyo niyan. Mag-away lang tayo. I will deprive you of the police. Kukunin ko ‘yung supervision at authority ninyo over the police and I will just ask the military to go in and impose order,” Duterte said.

President Duterte said in the same speech that the tobacco company, Mighty Corp., would have to pay double its tax liabilities from 1.5 billion to 3 billion pesos.

“Itong smuggler ng… Eh nabigla ako ng tanong, ‘What do you intend to do?’ Sabi ko, o sige. Ang sa batas kasi, ang tax evasion cases o tax liability for that matter, they’re the same terminology, can be compromised. The law allows an areglo, kagaya ng ibang crimes,” Duterte said.

“Ang sabi ng [Department of] Finance, it’s about 1.5 ang nilugi mo sa gobyerno. Sabi ng mga negosyo, ‘Medyo mababa ‘yun, Mayor,’ Pero sabi ko, “’Okay, doblado na lang.’ I will just consider the fake stamps as part of the process of evading the taxes,” he said.

Duterte said that out of the three billion pesos, Mighty Corp. should give one billion each to the hospitals in Basilan, in Jolo, Sulu, and in Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo, Manila.

“Sabi ng mga negosyante diyan, kulang ‘yun kasi ang interest. Sabi ko, five billion siguro but depende na lang kay Faeldon, Dulay pati Dominguez,” he said.

The President explained that it would be better if the owner of Mighty Corp. would just pay the taxes doubly than send him to prison.

“He’s of no use to me. I mean, pa-presuhin mo ‘yan, he will just enjoy the privileges of a… As if you are a living out… Makahanap talaga ang pera ng paraan for you eh,” Duterte said

“So I do not think he will be of use to me and to the Republic of the Philippines and the people of the Philippines if he goes inside. He will just go there and enjoy his time so isip-isip ko, pera-pera na lang ito. Tutal niloko mo ako, pabayarin kita,” he said. ###PND