Saturday, March 16, 2013

Potential in trade and tourism in Pangasinan

President Benigno S. Aquino III exhorted the people of Pangasinan Friday to support candidates allied with his administration to easily realize the province's potential in trade and tourism.

The President said the government has not changed its strategy to develop Pangasinan, he said in his address during a meeting with local leaders here.

He pointed out that part of the strategy is investing on building new infrastructure such as roads, bridges and irrigation system.

One of these projects includes the 88-kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway Project that will connect the three provinces in the region.

The first phase of the project is currently under construction and the President said that before he steps down from power in 2016, he expects phase three, the final part of the project, will be completed.

According to the President, once the project is completed, the three and a half travel time from Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union will be shortened to one hour. Around 20,000 daily motorists are expected to benefit from the project.

The President also noted that before the end of March, he expects the completion of the San Nicolas-Natividad-San Quintin-Umingan-Guimba Road, which, he said, will also cut travel time in the area.

He said that more than 5,400 daily motorists will benefit from the project adding that the travel time will be cut from one hour to half an hour.

The administration is also focusing on developing the province's agriculture sector, he said.

The government has released P10 million to complete the Poblacion-Quinaoayanan Farm-to-Market Road project for the benefit of local farmers.

The government also released the fund for the P360-million Macidem Small Reservoir Irrigation Project that will supply water to 600 hectares of farmland in the province.

The President also reported that there is a separate 17 other irrigation projects in Pangasinan that received more than P150-million budget from the national government.

The project will irrigate more than 2,100 hectares of farmland in Pangasinan, he said.

The Aquino government also prioritized providing quality healthcare to the people of Pangasinan.

Part of his visit in this city is the inauguration of the Emergency Room Complex Region 1 Medical Center in Dagupan City.

The national government allotted P15 million for the project, he said. Fifty million pesos was spent for the procurement of modern medical equipment of the new emergency room complex.

"Wala pa po tayo sa kalahati ng ating termino, pero nararamdaman na po natin ang positibong resulta ng malinis at mapagmalasakit na pamamahala," the President said during his address.

Total Philippines Fuel Price Rollback

Independent oil player Total Philippines Friday also announced price rollback on its petroleum product.

In its advisory, Total will impose price cuts of P0.45 per liter for Unleaded, Premium and, for diesel, of P0.40 per liter which would take effect at 6:00 a.m. Saturday.

Total said there were no price adjustments for its regular gasoline and kerosene.

The price rollback is due to reflect movements in the international oil market.

Cebu Port Commission

Fresh appointments for the members of the Cebu Port Commission, which is under the Cebu Port Authority (CPA), were announced Friday by Malacañang to serve the unexpired term of office ending on June 2013.

They include Benjamin C. Akol and Marino M. Fernan (replacing Vicente T. Suazo, Jr., as members representing the shipping sector, Joselito O. Pedaria and Tomas A. Riveral as members representing the cargo handling labor sector, and Carlos G. Co as member representing the business sector.

The Cebu Port Commission is the policy-making body of the CPA, separate from the Philippine Ports Authority, which was tasked to specifically oversee all ports located in Cebu by virtue of Republic Act 7621 signed on June 26, 1992 by then President Corazon Aquino.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Benigno S. Aquino III signed their appointment papers on Thursday (March 14) which were immediately transmitted to the office of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Philippine Local Absentee Voting for Media Law

Media practitioners nationwide will now have the opportunity to cast their votes, in absentia, after President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the Local Absentee Voting for Media Law, Malacañang announced Friday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told a press briefing the pertinent provisions of this new law shall apply to all members of the media and their respective technical and support staff who are usually busy covering the election day.

They, however, are only allowed to vote for national positions including the president, vice president, senators, and party list representatives, according to RA 10380.

"The Commission on Elections shall extend the right to vote under the local absentee voting system provided under existing laws and executive orders to members of media, media practitioners, including the technical and support staff, who are duly registered and who, on election day, may not be able to vote due to the performance of their functions in covering and reporting on the elections --- pjrovided, that they shall be allowed to vote only for the positions of President, Vice President, Senators, and Party-List Representative," it stated.

RA 10380 added the COMELEC shall, within 30 days upon the signing of the law, promulgate the implementing rules and regulations which shall include a system of accreditation and verification of the members of the media, media practitioners, the technical and support staff, who are qualified to avail of the local absentee voting.

With the implementation of this new law, Malacañang is encouraging everyone who works in the media industry to take advantage of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote ahead of the regular voting schedule.

"Marami ho tayong mga kasamahan sa media na ang hinaing nga po nila ay hindi sila nakakaboto dahil nga naman nagko-cover po sila usually kapag araw po ng eleksyon, so we encourage everybody to vote. So, finally, may pagkakataon na po kayo. Let's take advantage of the new law so you can exercise your right to vote," Valte said.

The initial funding for the new local absentee voting for the media shall be charged against the current budget or savings of the COMELEC and future expenses for the same exercise shall be incorporated in the annual General Appropriations Act.

2013 Galing Pook Award Goes to Iloilo City

President Benigno Aquino III will award the best Galing Pook local governance programs to selected local government units in the country on Monday, March 18, 2013 during a grand awarding ceremony to be held at the Land Bank Plaza in Malate, Manila.

This southern city bags the latest national Galing Pook award on best local governance project through community participation and collaborative governance with the Dinagyang Festival as best local governance project.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will lead the Iloilo City delegation to the awards rites composed of 10 city officials and Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation by bringing the best public and private partnership in achieving success in the annual tourism event of the city.

Galing Pook awards are the annual search for the best governance programs across the nation spearheaded by the Galing Pook Foundation composed of different business corporations, professionals and government officials.

A stringent screening and judging process looks at positive results and impact, people's participation and empowerment, innovation, efficiency of program service delivery, and transferability and sustainability.

Economy of Pangasinan

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday cited the booming economy of Pangasinan as he vowed to further support the development of the province through various infrastructure.

"Makikita ito (pag-asenso) sa inyong mga industriya, kabilang na siyempre ang bangus at handicrafts," the President said in his meeting with local leaders and the community held at the CSI Stadia, CSI City Mall, in Barangay Lucao, here.

In 2012, domestic sales reached almost P135 million while export sales of milk fish or "bangus" was recorded at US$ 840,000.

"Kitang-kita rin po ang pag-angat ng handicraft industry ninyo. Noong 2011, 157 trabaho ang nalikha nito, na pumalo naman sa 1,033 trabaho noong 2012," he said.

In tourism, President Aquino noted the increasing number of tourist arrivals in Pangasinan -- from 1,020 in 2010 to more than 200,000 in 2011, an increase of 66.57 percent representing almost 40 percent tourist arrivals for the entire Region 1.

"Hindi po nagbabago ang estratehiya natin para maabot ang inyong potensyal -- ginagawa nating mas maaliwalas ang daloy ng inyong kalakalan at turismo, sa pamamagitan ng pamumuhunan sa taumbayan, at pagtatayo ng sapat na proyektong pang-imprastraktura," he said.

The President cited the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) Project that would construct more than 88 kilometers road connecting three provinces in Luzon.

"Kasalukuyan pong isinasakongkreto ang unang bahagi nito, habang hindi naman aabutin ng 2016 ang paglalatag ng ikatlo at huling bahagi ng proyekto," he said.

Once completed, President Aquino said, the usual three-and-a-half hours travel time from Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union would be reduced to just one hour.

"Ngayon pa lang tinatayang 20,000 motorista ang makikinabang dito kada araw," he said.

Another major infrastructure is the San Nicolas-Natividad-San Quintin-Umingan-Guimba Road, which is expected to be completed this month.

"Kung ano naman po ang haba ng pangalan ng kalsadang ito, iyon din naman sana ang igiginhawa ng mahigit 5,400 motoristang dadaan dito kada araw -- dahil mula isang oras, gagawin na lang po natin itong kalahating oras ang biyahe po nila," he said.

To support the agriculture sector of the province, President Aquino said some P10 million was allocated for the completion of the Poblacion-Quinaoayanan Farm-to-Market Road project, and the P360 million Macidem Small Reservoir Irrigation Project in Bani that would irrigate around 600 hectares farm lands.

"Hindi pa po kasama rito ang 17 pa nating irrigation projects -- na pinaglaanan din ng mahigit P150 milyong piso -- na magdidilig naman ng serbisyo sa mahigit 2,100 na ektarya sa iba't iba pang munisipalidad ninyo," he said.

"Iyan po ang kalakaran sa tuwid na daan. Ang kaban ng bayan, ginagamit lamang sa mga inisyatibang may pakinabang sa mamamayan, at hindi napupunta sa bulsa ng mga maimpluwensiya't makapangyarihan," he noted.

But, the President said, he needs leaders allied with the administration to be able to continue to implement reforms for the province.

"Sa darating na eleksyon, mayroon kayong kapangyarihang itimon sa tamang direksyon ang ating bansa sa pamamagitan ng inyong boto," he stressed.

He cited incumbent Alaminos Mayor Hernani Braganza, who is running for governor of Pangasinan in May.

"Para Gobernador po, ang tiwala ko po'y buong-buo kay Nani Braganza. Di po tulad ng iba, hindi niya isusugal ang inyong kinabukasan. Wala sa bokabularyo niya ang paggamit ng lakas at dahas, para kumapit sa kapangyarihan, at ipagsapalaran ang pagkakataong umangat ang kabuhayan ng kanyang mga kababayan," he said.