PIA News Service - Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011

OWWA-Caraga chief says state workers must not only excel, they must have honor

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Caraga Regional Director – Dr. Marietta Lumawag on Friday said state workers in general must not only excel in performing their duties and responsibilities to public, they must as well have honor as a public servant.

In an interview with PIA, the OWWA Director said in order to improve performance of state workers, they must possess honor and integrity. “One way of achieving this is by strengthening discipline of the state workers,” Dr. Lumawag said.

Lumawag further said if all state workers are disciplined, dedicated and committed to their work, “this country will definitely move forward,” she said.

Meanwhile, amidst the alleged corruption scandal in the AFP thus affecting the integrity of the country’s armed forces and with some negative issues implicating the Philippine National Police (PNP), Dir. Lumawag is still confident in the ability of the PNP and AFP personnel to address the problem of criminality and insurgency in the country. (PIA-Caraga)

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PNoy sees importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation program in the country

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) – With the government’s effort to mitigate the effects of climate change in the country, Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III is convinced with the importance of the climate change mitigation and adaptation program when he visited Caraga Region for the first time as the country’s chief executive earlier this year.

This is what DBM Sec. Butch Abad said as he discussed sustainable development with climate change adaptation as its core which is part of the President’s Social Contract with the people, in his speech during the 2012 Regional Budget Consultation for Caraga held Thursday in one of the local convention centers here.

Sec. Abad said the President has already identified 64 geo-hazard areas in the country and with the climate change mitigation and adaptation program, Pres. Aquino wants to focus on mitigating disasters that is occurring on the said areas.

It can be recalled that on January 14, 2011, the country’s Chief Executive was here to see the impact brought about by the six days incessant rains, resulting to massive flooding and landslides in some areas of Caraga Region.

During the visit, the President focused on the massive illegal logging activities and assured the local officials here that his administration will run after these illegal loggers who are the major contributors to the series of calamities that hit the region.

Caraga has been hit by two calamities earlier in January and earlier February due to northeast monsoon, tail-end of a cold front and low pressure area, resulting to number of persons dead, and damaging huge amount in infrastructure and agriculture products. (PIA-Caraga)

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Social services has bigger allocation in 2012 nat'l budget

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 12 (PIA) – Budget Secretary Florencio Abad recently explained why social services programs were given higher budget allocation in the General Appropriations Act of the Aquino administration.

During the press conference held in one of the local convention centers here, the budget chief said poverty is the main problem of the country which resulted to poor education, poor health, and lack of livelihood,

Sec. Abad also said, basing on the SWS Pulse Asia surveys, it revealed that the country is facing problems on health, education, foods, jobs, among others.

“This is the reason why the Aquino administration is allocating greater part of the budget to poverty reduction,” he said

Abad added the program however, has created a space within the budget for what is called public-private partnership programs to attract foreign investments to come in to the country because the government believes that the last solution to poverty is not only poverty reduction program but a growing economy that will create a demand for a healthy and educated workforce.

Moreover, Abad said the principal objective of the economic growth program of Pres. Aquino is jobs generation that focused on tourism, agriculture and general infrastructure projects. (PIA-Caraga)

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PNoy determined to put a closure on insurgency, secession problems in the country

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) – DBM Sec. Florencio Abad on Thursday said President Benigno S. Aquino III is determined to put a closure on insurgency and secession problems in the country as he puts up together a very good lineup of negotiators who are currently negotiating with the CPP-NPA-NDF and MILF.

According to Sec. Abad, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) chief Teresita Deles said that by the end of 2013, they may be able to forge peace agreements with the two armed groups.

This move of the Aquino administration forms part of the President’s social contract particularly on the promotion of just and lasting peace especially in the countryside.

Under the Aquino administration, OPAPP pursues the four-pronged National Security Policy that includes governance, delivery of basic services, economic reconstruction and sustainable development, and security sector reform. (PIA-Caraga)

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Gov’t to draw P270-B public-private infra projects this year

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) – Budget Secretary Florencio Abad recently said the national government is hoping to attract some P270 billion worth of infrastructure projects this year.

In his keynote speech during the 2012 Regional Budget Consultation for Caraga held Thursday in one of the local convention centers here, the budget chief said the Aquino administration is doing its best and hopes to attract public-private infrastructure projects this year.

He said by March 2011, four major infrastructure projects in Luzon is set to be put up, by June, four major airport projects for the tourism development program are expected to be put in place, and before the end of this year, the government hopes for 11 more major infrastructure projects to be built.

Sec. Abad further said money is not a problem in realizing these projects. “We have so much money that wants to come in to the country… Our problem is our capacity for project preparations and development,” he said.

Abad also stressed that the aforementioned problem is one of the things that need to be developed if we want to attract investors in the country.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet official took time to meet the local tri-media in Caraga for a press conference at past 12:00 noon after his speaking engagement with the local chief executives and regional heads of offices attending the budget consultation. (PIA-Caraga)

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ICT plays important role in promoting transparency governance, says DBM chief

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) –- Citing the promotion of transparency governance of the Aquino administration, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Butch Abad recently said Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays an important role in achieving it.

Sec. Abad said all releases of government including obligations and disbursements will now be available for viewing in the DBM website.

The budget chief also announced that starting this quarter, DBM will process the so-called “electronic bidding” so that said transaction will not be accompanied by too much human intervention, he said.

This, according to Abad is one way of introducing innovations in budgeting that enshrines transparency, accountability, and citizen’s participation in governance.

Abad stressed the first approach is by integrating transparency and accountability standards into the very text of the 2011 budget. The second approach is leveraging new information technology in exercising transparency and accountability.

With these developments, the official said people can now see what amount of projects are being taken out, who are the bidders, who won the bidding, what were the conditions, and how the projects were implemented.

“In this way, the Filipino people is assured that there is really transparency in the governance of the Aquino administration,” Abad said. (PIA-Caraga)