Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters, Mandaluyong City
19 June 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III attended the 14th Annual Global Development Conference of the Global Development Network (GDN) held at the ADB headquarters in Mandaluyong City. The Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country to host the GDN’s annual conference.
During the opening ceremony, Dr. Jose Yap, President of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and Regional Coordinator of the East Asian Development Network (EADN), cited the government’s program of good governance and its favorable outcome in strengthening the Philippines’ economic outlook. He added that the current administration’s conditional cash transfer (4Ps) program is an effective means of addressing the inequality and providing social protection on the micro level.
In his speech, the President said that “for most of the developing world, the overarching problems can be summed up in a few words: poverty, hunger, unemployment, lack of education and corruption. All these problems combine to deprive people of hope, initiative and opportunities. And while no one can guarantee outcomes, I believe it is incumbent upon government to provide meaningful opportunities to individuals, and an environment conducive to empowering our fellow citizens to seek out and maximize opportunities that come their way.”
President Aquino also emphasized that in the next three years of his leadership, there will be continued interventions on the poorest of the poor focusing on the vulnerable but emerging sectors of the society. All made possible by prudent public finance policies and honesty in public administration.
With the theme “Inequality, Social Protection and Inclusive Growth,” this year’s conference pursues a threefold objective: To move from endless and ineffective recommendations to evidence-based and operational discussions; to raise the voice of developing country researchers; and to encapsulates GDN’s overarching theme of research capacity building to inspire better policies.
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Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
12 June 2013
Following his participation at the wreath-laying ceremony earlier today, President Benigno S. Aquino III raised the “Wine of Honor” before the members of the diplomatic community and senior government officials, as part of the yearly tradition being practiced during Independence Day celebration.
In his speech, the President imparted the importance of the Filipinos’ participation in nation building, adding that they can contribute in making a more just and more equitable society through productivity and responsibility.
He also called on the foreign dignitaries present to continue their partnership with the country and with all nations, for the promotion of peace and unity towards the advancement of humanity. “It is my hope that, as my administration strives for more meaningful and lasting reform in our country, you will continue working with us in realizing the full potential of the Filipino people and in finding solutions to the challenges that we collectively face,” the President said.
Joining President Aquino in gracing the event were Archbishop Guissepe Pinto, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Papal Nuncio of the Vatican to the Philippines and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
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Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila
12 June 2013
In celebration of the 115th Philippine Independence Day, President Benigno S. Aquino III led the simultaneous raising of the Philippine flag and wreath-laying at the monument of Filipino hero Gat Andres Bonifacio at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.
“Ikaw, Pilipino, ano na ang nagawa mo para sa bandila at kapwa mo?” asked the President in his Independence Day speech. He then recognized the great courage and bravery of Filipino heroes like Dr. Jose Rizal, Bonifacio and the Katipuneros in defending the rights of every Filipino people and for fighting for our freedom and sovereignty.
“Naninindigan tayo para sa ating mga karapatan bilang bansang may sariling soberenya, bilang bayang nagbuwis na ng buhay para sa kalayaan, bilang Pilipinas na may sariling bandila na kapantay ng lahat,” he stated.
This year’s celebration of the Independence Day was held at the Liwasang Bonifacio to pay tribute to Bonifacio on his 150th birth anniversary. He founded the Katipunan which fought the Spaniard conquerors in the late 1890s to regain our freedom.
The theme of the celebration is “Kalayaan 2013: Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran.”
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Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental
11 June 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the final inspection of Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental before it becomes fully operational on June 15 this year.
“Narito nga po tayo ngayon sa Laguindingan Airport, na konkretong patunay sa isa na namang makabuluhang proyekto ng inyong gobyerno. Kasabay nito ang pag-inspeksyon natin sa mga pasilidad nito upang siguraduhin ang epektibo nitong operasyon at serbisyo. Kompiyansya po tayong magiging bukal ito ng mas malakas na turismo, at mas malawak na oportunidad para sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.
The PhP7.85 billion Laguindingan Airport is expected to remedy the shortcomings of the Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro and Balo-i Airport in Lanao del Norte with its bigger runway spaces and improved safety features and facilities that meet international airport standards.
President Aquino was also pleased to announce that with the government’s strong stance to push for reforms in the country’s aviation industry, the International Civil Aviation Organization has lifted the Significant Safety Concerns against the Philippines which he hopes is a step towards the complete removal of the travel ban issued against the Philippines by the European Union and the United States.
He added that aside from the reform agenda being implemented, he had allotted almost PhP 17 billion on infrastructure projects targeting seaports, airports and road projects that will make tourist destinations more accessible.
The President is also confident that with Republic Act 10378, which abolishes the three percent common carriers tax and the 2.5-percent gross Philippine billings tax on international carriers, it will attract more foreign visitors.
With the initial target of 35.5 million domestic tourists by 2016 finally surpassed in 2011, President Aquino is convinced that the 56.1 target increase will be equally achieved following the government’s projects and reforms created to bolster the country’s tourism industry.
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10 June 2013
Forty-nine newly-appointed generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines took their oath of office before President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang.
Among those who were sworn into office include AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Philippine Military Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Edgar Abogado, AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Alan Ruga, Western Command head Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, Central Command head Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda, South Luzon Command head Lt. Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo, and Philippine Navy Commander of Naval Education and Training Command Rear Admiral Jaime Bernardino.
National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs RAdm. Danilo Cortez (Ret.), Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Noel Caballes, Phil. Air Force Commanding General Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz and Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command VAdm. Jose Luis Alano were also present during the ceremony.
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Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
7 June 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III met with Mr. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
He was greeted by Mr. Sushant Palakurthi Rao, Head of Asia Senior Director of the World Economic Forum on East Asia, when he arrived at the Myanmar International Convention Center for his meeting with Mr. Schwab.
Mr. Schwab founded the World Economic Forum in 1971 as a non-profit foundation that helps improve the state of the world by creating global partnership among business, political and intellectual leaders.
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Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
7 June 2013
Before attending the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia, President Benigno S. Aquino III together with his delegation met with Myanmar President U Thein Sein at the Presidential Palace to create stronger bilateral relations between the Philippines and Myanmar.
President Aquino thanked President U Thein Sein for the warm welcome given to him and to the members of his delegation. On the other hand, President U Sein congratulated President Aquino for the progressive growth of the economy. He also recounted the last time a Philippine president visited Myanmar.
The Philippines has always been supportive of Myanmar’s quest for democracy during its military junta. In recent trade relations, the Philippines agreed to assist in the development of Burma’s agricultural sector through the introduction of rice and banana technologies. The Philippines and Myanmar are both country members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
7 June 2013
Around 10:25 am (Myanmar time), President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived at the Nay Pyi Taw International Airport on board PR 001 to attend the Closing Plenary of the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia.
The President is set to lead the Closing Plenary and accept the hosting of WEF on East Asia 2014. He is also scheduled to meet with businessmen for possible investment opportunities that would benefit both countries. The President is also set to meet with Honorable Aung San Suu Kyi, a woman who fought for the democracy of her country, just like his mother, the late President Cory Aquino.
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NAIA Terminal II, Pasay City
7 June 2013
Members of the Cabinet and other government officials expressed their well wishes to President Benigno S. Aquino III as he left for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to participate in the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia.
In his departure speech, the Chief Executive noted the importance of his attendance to the event since the Philippines will be hosting the said forum in 2014. He emphasized that this is the best time to showcase the country’s continuing economic growth performance in Southeast Asia, as well as to encourage businessmen not to waste the opportunity of investing in the region’s “brightest spark”.
He said that he looks forward to his bilateral meeting with Myanmar President U Thein Sein to discuss ways of pursuing cooperation in the areas of trade, politics and security between the two countries. He is also eager to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, who he admires for her unwavering commitment in pushing for democracy in her nation.
“Sa ganitong mga biyahe, hindi natin kailanman kinakalimutan ang pangunahing pakay namin bilang mga lingkod-bayan: Ang mag-uwi ng mas marami pang makabuluhang pagkakataon para sa mga Pilipino, at ibandila ang bagong mukha ng Pilipinas – isang bansang handang makipagbayanihan sa ibang nasyon tungo sa maaliwalas na ekonomiya’t pagnenegosyo; isang bansang tunay na nagniningning at tinitingala ng mundo,” President Aquino concluded.
The President and the rest of the Philippine delegation boarded Philippine Airlines flight PR001 at 8:00 AM. He is set to return to the country past midnight of 8 June 2013.
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6 June 2013
Stronger bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Democratic Republic of Timor Leste is expected to happen as President Benigno S. Aquino III officially welcomed His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste in Malacañan Palace.
In a joint press statement, President Aquino acknowledged the existing mutual understanding of the two countries especially in the sectors of trade and investment, infrastructure, education and defense. He particularly mentioned the tripled rate of trade exchange between Philippines and Timor Leste as well as the more than 100 Timorese students who are studying in the country. He also thanked the Timor Leste leader for donating $US 750,000 for the Typhoon Pablo victims.
The President gladly informed the Prime Minister that he will back Timor Leste’s bid for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) membership, where the Philippines is one of its founding members.
In reply, Prime Minister Gusmão expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the President’s warm reception to him and his delegation. He noted that apart from the existing bilateral understanding in certain sectors, his government intends to learn from the Philippines’ tourism, agriculture and fishery industries. He also recognized the contribution of Filipino workers in his country’s nation building.
Both leaders witnessed the signing of three agreements namely, Memorandum of Understanding on Policy Consultations between DFA and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Memorandum of Understanding between DPWH and Ministry of Public Works; and Memorandum of Understanding on Teacher Training between Philippine Normal University and Ministry of Education.
Prime Minister Gusmão is in a four-day visit in the Philippines as part of his Southeast Asian countries tour. He previously visited Thailand in April and Singapore in May.
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5 June 2013
Newly-elected President Takehiko Nakao of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) paid a courtesy call to President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang.
Nakao was elected by the ADB Board of Governors and assumed office on April 2013 after the resignation of its former President Haruhiko Kuroda early March this year. Nakao is also the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors.
Before joining ADB, Nakao served as the Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs at Japan’s Ministry of Finance.
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Oath-Taking Ceremony of the Newly-Elected Officers of FFCCCII & Symbolic Turnover of a Two-Classroom School Building
5 June 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his gratitude to the officers and members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) for the donation of a two-classroom school building which is part of the Operation Barrio Schools project of the association. He said that this symbolizes their promise to the government that they will contribute to the economic growth of the country through their businesses.
“With more than 9,000 classrooms constructed all over the country since 1961, the FFCCCII has opened doors of learning – and consequently, of opportunity – to so many of our students… It is always encouraging for those of us in the government to see businessmen going above and beyond what you would expect from an ordinary citizen,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Aquino said that the government is doing its best to build an environment that is even more encouraging to business.
In conjunction with the symbolic turnover of the classroom school buildings, the President also led the oath-taking of the newly-elected officers of FFCCCII.
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Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
3 June 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III received from thirty eight government-owned controlled corporations (GOCCs) an amount of close to P28 billion pesos in dividends and other remittances during the GOCCs Dividends Day at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang.
In his statement, the President congratulated the 38 GOCCs that turned over to the national coffers an amount that surpassed the collections made out of their operations last year.
“Sa loob lamang ng tatlong taon, naghatid na ang ating mga GOCC ng kabuuang mahigit 77 billion pesos. Ikumpara po natin yan sa buong siyam at kalahating taon ng kanilang panunungkulan, kung saan 96 billion pesos lamang ang nalikom nilang remittance mula sa mga korporasyon,” he said.
Eight out of 38 GOCCs got included to the so-called ‘Billionaire’s Club’. These are the first time entrant Philippine Reclamation Authority, which remitted P1 billion to the National Government; Philippine Ports Authority (total of P1.034 billion); Manila International Airport Authority (total of P1.547 billion); Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (P1.4 billion); Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (P1 billion); Bases Conversion Development Authority (P2.309 billion); Development Bank of the Philippines (P3.166 billion) and Land Bank of the Philippines, which remitted the biggest amount for this year’s Dividends Day with P6.241 billion.
The President was also joined by Senator Franklin Drilon, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) Chairman Cesar Villanueva and National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon during the event.
The practice of declaring and remitting dividends is pursuant to Section 3 of Republic Act no. 7656 which states that all GOCCs are required to “declare and remit at least…..50% of their annual net earnings as cash, stock or property dividends to the National Government”.
DOST Compound, Bicutan, Taguig City
31 May 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his confidence that the country’s first Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL) will boost the country’s semiconductor industry to global heights during its inauguration at the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) compound in Bicutan, Taguig City.
“Without doubt, this facility will pull our semiconductors industry up the value chain, and move them closer to their target of becoming a fifty billion dollar industry by 2016. To fast track this growth, we need to become the country that not only has the capacity to build semiconductors –and build them well at that – but that which has the capacity to design, and test them here,” he said.
President Aquino also assured members and shareholders of the semiconductors industry that the government is keen to improve and enhance the country’s electronic market. Adding that on top of the newly inaugurated ADMATEL laboratory, the DOST will open the Philippines Product Development Center next year and the Philippine Microelectronics Center later this year.
The President also announced that he had increased DOST’s budget from PhP 5.2 billion in 2010 to PhP 9.9 billion in 2013 as a result of the 7.8 percent economic growth recorded in the first quarter of 2013.
With a testing laboratory made readily accessible, testing costs of local companies will relatively go down and turnaround time is reduced from one month to four days for sample testing which previously had to be shipped out to neighboring countries.
ADMATEL houses the following highly specialized equipment designed for failure analysis and advanced materials characterization which will be vital in spotting defects and to ensure quality control of electronic device components before it reach consumers: Focus Ion Beam-Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-FESEM), Scanning Electronic Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX), Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (TOFSIMS) and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES).
Music Room, Malacanang
30 May 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III received Indonesian Presidential Special Adviser T.B. Silalahi, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Dahlan Iskan and Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Yohanes Kristiato Soeryo Legowa in a courtesy call at the Malacañan Palace.
In a prior conversation with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, the officials discussed the positive growth of the Philippine economy that is reflected in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Sec. Purisima shared that consumption is the main driver of the economy and it is supported by OFW remittances as well as profits from the sector of business process outsourcing and tourism. He also informed the Indonesian officials that their country is the Philippines’ main supplier of coal which powers up renewable energy power plants.
Minister Dahlan Iskan expressed his interest in learning how to increase geothermal power plant sources from the Philippines.
Both parties agreed that they must increase bilateral trade to further strengthen the existing ties of the two countries.
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Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
28 May 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III visited the wake of the seven Philippine Marines killed in an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf rebel group in Patikul, Sulu last Saturday.
The President also spoke to the families and relatives of the slain soldiers to assure them of the ongoing investigation. He also handed PhP 250,000 cheque to each soldier’s bereaved family as financial assistance taken out from the Presidential Social Fund.
The seven slain Marines were Second Lieutenant Alfredo Lorin VI, Private First Class Jay Alasian, Private First Class Jayson Durante, Private First Class Andres Bogwana, Private First Class Rene Gare, Private First Class Roxan Pizarro, and Private First Class Dominador Sabejon, Jr.
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President’s Hall, Malacanan Palace
27 May 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III held a meeting with the Economic Development Cluster. Joining him were some members of his Cabinet including NEDA Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, among others.
Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan City
23 May 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the thanksgiving celebration of the Liberal Party’s Team PNoy after the recent 2013 elections in which nine of its twelve senatorial candidates were elected as new members of the Philippine Senate.
“Ngayong gabi, ipinagdiriwang natin ang tagumpay na ito. Subalit ang tunay na halaga nito ay ang araw-araw na tagumpay na ipinagdiriwang ng mga Boss natin – ng mga Pilipino – sa susunod na mga taon dahil nagbunga ang kanilang tiwala sa Team PNoy, ” the President said.
He told the newly-elected senators from the coalition not to waste the chance bestowed to them and to fulfill the mandate of serving the Filipino people.
Meanwhile, President Aquino encouraged senatoriables Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Risa Hontiveros, and Jamby Madrigal, who was unable to attend, not to lose hope and continue to strengthen their aspirations to uplift the lives of their fellow Filipinos and the country. He promised them, “Sa susunod na halalan, mas dadagundong ang mensahe ng tuwid na daan.”
The President expressed his gratitude to all the members of Team PNoy, the staff and volunteers who painstakingly worked together throughout the 30-day campaign period. But most of all, he thanked the millions of Filipinos who chose to vote for the new leaders of the country. “Utang na loob natin sa kanila ang mandatong ito, at tungkulin nating tuparin ang anumang pangako at binitiwan nating salita sa kanila,” the President noted.
Present in the event were senators-elect Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III and Cynthia Villar. Also in attendance were Senator Franklin Drilon, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and other local government candidates and winners.
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Fort San Felipe, Cavite City
21 May 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III joined the dedicated men and women of the Philippine Navy as they celebrated 115 years of service to the nation at Fort San Felipe in Cavite City.
In his speech as guest of honor, the President thanked the Philippine Navy and the military for being defenders of the people and that reforms are on the way to ensure a stronger military.
“Ang Pilipinas ay sa Pilipinas, at kaya nating pumalag at ipagtanggol ang sarili tuwing may sisindak sa atin sa loob mismo ng ating bakuran,” the Commander-in-Chief emphasized.
He further said that with the confidence that the economy is currently experiencing, the country can repay the services that the men in uniform give like the AFP Modernization and Capability Upgrade Program that led to the acquisition of navy vehicles.
Likewsie, part of the program is the proposed acquisition of additional new vehicles and communication equipment. Its Phase II includes more than 14,000 housing units for the military and the police. A total of 31,200 units have already been built for employees of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Corrections, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
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