Philippine Embassy News Release – 03 October 2011
|Posted by Manila Mail under Press Releases|
03 October 2011
Aquino wants stricter enforcement of ‘forced evacuation’ from affected areas
To lessen the incidence of people getting stranded in an area severely affected by calamities, President Benigno S. Aquino III said Sunday that he wanted the authorities to strictly enforce the “forced evacuation” warnings.
In an interview, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the President wanted this law implemented further to save the lives of the evacuees.
“The President wants a stricter enforcement of the forced evacuation primarily because the residents keep on refusing to evacuate the premises,” Lacierda said.
“The President wants the PNP to strictly enforce the forced evacuation for the primary reason that he wants the evacuees to be saved—for their own security,” he added.
Lacierda also said that in order to ensure the peace of mind of the evacuees on the safety of their properties, the President has directed the Philippine National Police to post their personnel in affected areas.
“And in order to protect their belongings, the President also—in conjunction with the forced evacuation order—has also tasked the PNP to make sure that while the evacuees are moved out of their residences, that there will be police presence in the areas where they left,” Lacierda said.
“So that’s a two-pronged approach so that the people will not be going back to their areas where there’s already flooding in order to protect their belongings,” he added.
Aquino wants probe on Manila Bay seawall failure
President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed the Department of Public Works and Highways and other concerned agencies to look into why the Manila Bay seawall failed to prevent a storm surge from flooding a large portion of Roxas Boulevard and nearby areas at the height of typhoon “Pedring’s” onslaught last week.
The President told DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson in a briefing at the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) in Camp Aguinaldo Sunday that he wanted the agency to collaborate with law authorities and other concerned agencies to get to the bottom of the issue in order to prevent a repeat of what had happened.
Singson concurred but said an initial probe into the failure of Manila Bay seawall showed that “changes” were made to the original design of the seawall that did not conform to regulated seawall design standards.
He said the design of the seawall, which looks like an inverted “L” had a sharp angle to the horizontal bar instead of a steady slope that would have helped ease the power of the waves directly hitting it and redirect it back to the sea.
“So, with the series of storm surges it experienced during Pedring’s wrath, natuklap ito (torn off) together with its concrete dockings,” Singson noted.
Singson added that the design of the seawall was outdated as its construction was based on 20 to 25 year old flood data when it should be 50 year old flood data.
“We are now seriously looking at about 50 year old flood data because with the climate change, tides are rising (more than expected). Hindi na pwede yung old flood data (The old flood data is no longer relevant),” Singson said.
“When we restore this, we will have to raise the seawall (‘s height). We are now determining how much higher it would be,” he added.
Because of these findings, the President told Singson that he wanted to know who made the modifications and why the modifications were made.
DA assures availability of rice supply
The Department of Agriculture assured Sunday the availability of rice and other agricultural products despite the pummeling the country’s plantation fields in Northern and Central Luzon got as a result of two weather disturbances passing through one after the other last week.
In a report to the President presented at a briefing held at the National Risk Reduction and Management Council in Camp Aguinaldo, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the staple could be sourced from Mindanao.
“Hindi po dapat mabahala ang ating mga kababayan because we have enough supply of rice. Napaka-ganda ng harvest natin ng palay sa Mindanao (Our fellowmen need not worry because we have enough supply of rice. Our rice harvest in Mindanao has been very good.),” Alcala said.
He added that his agency was still in the process of estimating the damage wrought by typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel” on the country’s agricultural sector but assured he would have the numbers soon.
“He said the DA was ready to extend any assistance to the farmers and their families whose plantations were affected by the typhoons.
Aquino wants subsistence for fisher folks during hazardous weather conditions
President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to look into how the government can provide subsistence to fisher folk as a deterrent to fishing during extremely hazardous weather conditions.
The President gave his directions to DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman during a briefing on the effects of typhoons Pedring and Quiel held at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in Camp Aguinaldo Sunday.
“Can the DSWD study if the marginal fisher folk …if they will not be allowed to venture out (to fish), can we give them some subsistence for the days that are extremely hazardous?” the President asked, adding whether a mechanism could be determined and funds be made available for this purpose.
The President has expressed concern over the country’s fishermen who, despite being warned in advance of an incoming weather disturbance, choose to take a chance and go out to earn their living.
Aquino maintains opposition to amending Constitution
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday has not changed his position on the proposal to amend the 1987 Constitution, saying that Charter Change is not a necessary move at this point in time.
During an interview, following the oath taking of newly appointed government officials in Malacanang on Monday, President Aquino maintained his opposition to amend specific provisions of the Constitution.
The President said that he does not agree that amending the Charter is the solution to spur the economic growth of the country.
“‘Yung reasoning na economic provisions, pag-uusapan namin ng mga leadership, siyempre kailangan ko rin pakinggan ang magkabilang panig. Pero hindi ako sang-ayon na ‘yun ang solusyon para palaguin ang ating ekonomiya (The reasoning on economic provisions, we will talk it over, of course I need to hear both sides. But I am not in favor that that is the solution to spur our economic growth),” he said.
Leaders of Congress earlier agreed to pursue Charter Change through a “bicameral constituent assembly.”
The President said that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile mentioned the proposal to amend certain economic provisions of the Constitution “at one point (but) in passing.”
“There were other topics that we were discussing that day tapos nabanggit niya rin ‘yung review (and the review was brought up) and we’re in a democratic country at least all of these ideas should be explored,” he said.
“But if I’m asked my personal opinion, I don’t think Charter Change is a necessary tool, or a necessary move at this point in time,” the President stressed.
Aquino swears in more government officials
President Benigno S. Aquino III today has sworn into office newly-installed officials of various government entities who will help in stepping up the Aquino government’s efforts to effect reforms in the bureaucracy and push for programs that will uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
In simple ceremonies at the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang Palace, President Aquino administered the oath of office of officials who will render the highest quality service to the people in agencies that include the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Department of National Defense, among others.
Topping the list of new officials is Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome who was chosen by the President last month to lead the Philippine National Police (PNP), which is under the DILG; Ambassador Victoria Bataclan as Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium-DFA; Ambassador Constancio Vingno Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa-DFA; Ambassador Maria Lumen Isleta, Philippine Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic-DFA; Ambassador Leah Ruiz, Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon-DFA; Atty. Henry Bensurto Jr., Career Minister-DFA and Undersecretary Laura del Rosario.
For the DOTC, officials who were sworn in by President Aquino include Undersecretary Rafael Santos and Assistant Secretary Marlou Ubano while DND’s Patrick Velez also took his oath of office as Assistant Secretary.
Also sworn into their new positions were the officers of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP) and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI).
The FILSCAP officials were Arturo Lui Pio also known as Nonoy Tan, chairman; Noel Cabangon, president; Alvin de Vera, vice president; Kedy Sanchez, corporate secretary; Doris Saturno, treasurer; and trustees Trina Belamida, Teodolfo Cajucom Cayamanda Jr., Ramon Chuaying, Marivic Benedicto, Raquel Dacillo, Snaffu Rigor and Johnny Sy.
The PPI officials include Amado Macasaet, chairman and president; Vergel Santos, vice chairman; Ruevivar Reyes, secretary and trustee for Visayas; Isagani Yambot, treasurer; Antonio Katigbak, trustee; Elnora Cueto, trustee; Atty. Jesus Dureza, trustee and Ariel Sebellino, executive director.