DPWH Central Office, Manila
20 June 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the 115th anniversary celebration of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under Secretary Rogelio Singson.
In his speech, President Aquino lauded DPWH for being able to accomplish their projects on time with much lower cost. For the past three years, 80% of their proposed projects had already been completed and these include the Araneta-Quezon Avenue Underpass and the Plaridel Bypass Road-Phase I.
“Malinaw po sa atin: malaki ang ginagampanang papel ng DPWH sa pagsisilbing tulay sa kaunlaran ng mga kababayan nating Pilipino,” he said.
In recognition of their dedication to serve the people, he announced that he has authorized the release of P10,000 bonus for all its employees and officials.
In support of President Aquino’s key priorities, DPWH aims to contribute to the country’s sustainable economic growth and global competitiveness and to reduce poverty. To achieve these goals, the office has adopted five strategic programs: Good Governance Reform and Anti-Corruption Program; Better Quality and Safer National Roads and Bridges Program; Strategic Convergence Program; Public-Private Partnership Program and Effective Flood Control Program.
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19 June 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed the executive council members of the International Association of Depositor Insurers (IADI) in a courtesy call in Malacañang.
The IADI members are in the country for a five-day 39th IADI Executive Council Meeting and International Conference hosted by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC). In a statement by PDIC President Valentine Araneta, he said that hosting forums such that of IADI is an occasion where the economic progress of the Philippines based on a platform of good governance can be appreciated by delegates from deposit insurance agencies.
Formed in May 2002, IADI is a non-profit organization of international deposit insurers gathered to share knowledge and expertise on matters related to deposit insurance. Aside from participating in international conferences, its members also conduct training and educational programs for the benefit of those who seek to establish or improve their deposit insurance system.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima joined the President during the call.
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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