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July 2014

Communications Secretary Coloma welcomes Filipino-American tourists to Malacañang (07.30.14)
President Aquino appoints two new Central Bank Monetary Board members (07.23.14)
President Aquino commemorates Apolinario Mabini's 150th birth anniversary in Batangas (07.23.14)
Government might consider proposal for Bataan Nuclear Power Plant conversion, Palace says (07.22.14)
President Aquino to tackle social welfare, peace and security in his State of the Nation Address on Monday (07.22.14)
Philippine government working hard to repatriate Filipinos from Libya (07.22.14)
Government taking a proactive stand on impending power shortage, Palace says (07.22.14)
Government urges all Filipinos in Libya to return home (07.21.14)
Malacanang asks the public to brace for typhoon 'Henry' (07.20.14)
Typhoon Glenda's damage cost 7.6 billion pesos (07.20.14)
Government imposes mandatory repatriation for Filipinos in Gaza Strip (07.20.14)
Palace files motion for reconsideration at Supreme Court regarding DAP (07.18.14)
Philippines expresses sympathy to families of those on board crashed Malaysia Airlines (07.18.14)
Government preparations for typhoon ‘Glenda’ were sufficient, Palace says (07.17.14)
Malacañang to file motion for reconsideration of SC decision on Disbursement Acceleration Program on Friday, says official (07.17.14)
Businessmen express support for President Aquino’s reform initiatives, Palace official says (07.15.14)
Malacañang says DAP funds used for revitalization of PTV4 (07.15.14)
Government on full alert for Typhoon ‘Glenda’ (07.15.14)
Palace steps up fulfillment of President’s Social Contract (07.14.14)
Palace assures PTV-4 employees of just compensation and benefits (07.08.14)
Boosting gross domestic product a top priority, Palace official says (07.08.14)
Supreme Court acknowledged Disbursement Acceleration Program has yielded positive results: Palace (07.03.14)
Palace says government stepping up efforts against hoarders (07.03.14)
Palace: no politics in implementation of bottom-up budgeting (07.03.14)

June 2014

Disaster readiness of the country above average, say Palace official (06.29.14)
Palace releases midterm update of Philippine Development Plan (06.29.14)
Palace still confident in case filed against Senator Revilla (06.26.14)
China’s new official map violates international law, says Palace (06.26.14)
Food prices to stabilize, says Malacanang (06.22.14)
Enough supply of NFA rice until next harvest season, say Palace (06.22.14)
New National Artists declared (06.21.14)
Palace welcomes arrest warrants for senator, 32 others (06.20.14)
Malacanang urges Filipinos in Iraq to heed government call for mandatory evacuation (06.20.14)
Philippines will stick to diplomatic, legal options in resolving territorial row with China, says Palace (06.18.14)
Government reaffirms commitment to recover ill-gotten wealth (06.18.14)
Government monitoring prices of other food staples, says Palace official (06.18.14)
Palace says government is serious in addressing crimes in the country (06.16.14)
Palace on accounting of foreign aid for Ondoy victims: We are transparent (06.16.14)
Rice prices to stabilize in two months, says Palace (06.16.14)
Scholars funded by PDAF will continue studies, says Palace (06.15.14)
Malacanang urges Filipinos in Iraq to return to the country (06.15.14)
Malacanang condemns killing of Mindoro–based broadcaster (06.10.14)
Palace expects higher GDP with drop in unemployment rate (06.10.14)
Rule of law must take its course, says Palace (06.10.14)
Palace on Senator Revilla’s privilege speech: “We agree with the people” (06.10.14)
Coloma highlights role of media in regional integration (06.10.14)
Palace encouraged by allies' support regarding South China Sea issue (06.03.14)
Funds for infrastructure projects will not come from congressional insertions, Palace says (06.03.14)
Government to address coconut infestation (06.03.14)
Government funds are being used for economic growth, not for anything else: Palace (06.03.14)
Government enticing new scientists to address 'brain drain' in DOST, says Palace (06.03.14)
Palace congratulates Donaire for winning World Boxing Association title (06.01.14)
Philippines will host Asia-Europe Meeting Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, says Palace (06.01.14)
President Aquino appoints new officials (06.01.14)
Public education is free of charge, says Malacanang (06.01.14)

May 2014

Philippines joins World Health Organization observance of 'World No Tobacco Day' (05.31.14)
Malacanang welcomes release of two Abu Sayyaf hostages (05.31.14)
Reconstruction in typhoon Yolanda-affected areas continue to move forward, says Palace (05.31.14)
Malacanang wishes Donaire all the best as he fights South African champ (05.31.14)
PCGG still committed to recovering Marcos' ill-gotten wealth, says Palace (05.30.14)
Office of the President still studying Bangsamoro Basic Law: Palace (05.30.14)
NEDA board approves nine major projects (05.30.14)
Government working continuously to address concerns in education (05.29.14)
Cabinet members to meet Friday to finalize work programs for ‘Yolanda’-hit areas (05.29.14)
Palace awaiting Vatican’s official announcement of Papal visit (05.29.14)
Philippines preparing for ASEAN integration, says official (05.29.14)
Government bent on building strong case against those involved in pork barrel scam: Palace (05.29.14)
Government to continue carrying out job-generating projects to boost economic growth (05.29.14)
Government condemns killing of radio broadcaster in Davao del Sur (05.24.14)
Government to go after Filipino hackers who defaced Chinese websites: Palace (05.20.14)
Government monitoring power supply on hourly basis, Palace official says (05.20.14)
Palace: West Philippine Sea claimants must agree on a COC (05.20.14)
President Aquino instructs DFA to ensure safety of Filipinos in Thailand
Palace gratified by Standard & Poor’s rating upgrade (05.09.14)
President Aquino thanks Margarita Juico for serving PCSO (05.09.14)
Palace justifies arrest of Chinese fishermen off Palawan (05.09.14)
Palace confident Mrs Arroyo will be brought to justice, official says (05.09.14)
Palace spells out three major thrusts to attain continuing, inclusive growth (05.09.14)
Malacanang hopes for peaceful resolution of political situation in Thailand (05.08.14)
Survey result on declining poverty, encouraging, says Coloma (05.07.14)
Palace renews appeal for water conservation (05.07.14)
Government prepared to address effects of El Nino, says Coloma (05.03.14)
Aquino government remains determined in solving media killings, says Coloma (05.03.14)
Palace hopes lawmakers address PNR concerns (05.03.14)

April 2014

Malacanang ‘looking forward’ to upcoming visit of U.S. President Barack Obama (04.23.14)
Palace asks for greater public vigilance to fend off spread of MERS-CoV (04.23.14)
Philippines satisfied with American support, says Palace official (04.23.14)
President Aquino welcomes resolution of issue with Hong Kong (04.23.14)
Aquino administration aggressively tackling climate change: Coloma (04.22.14)
Palace: Government issues advisory concerning new Mideast virus (04.15.14)
Palace welcomes news on possible increase in mango exports to the U.S. (04.15.14)
Palace braces public on power supply yellow alert (04.15.14)
Malacanang advises Filipinos to take extra precaution as they commemorate Lent (04.13.14)
Malacanang urges public: Pay taxes before April 15 deadline (04.13.14)
Government working to ease burden of Metro Rail Transit users, says Palace (04.11.14)
Power restored in 25 remote barangays in Davao Oriental, says Palace (04.11.14)
Government eyes start of mass transport projects within President Aquino’s term (04.11.14)
Palace welcomes US Federal Aviation Authority upgrade Phl air safety measures to category 1 status (04.10.14)
President Aquino remains focused on attaining long-term goals, says official (04.10.14)
Government to look into reports of prostitution in evacuation centers (04.10.14)
Talks on disaster risk reduction cooperation with United States underway, Palace says (04.10.14)
Philippines ready for any backlash from filing of case against China: Palace (04.02.14)
Palace to let rule of law take its course on PDAF case (04.02.14)
Palace: Safety measures in place to protect vital installations from Chinese control (04.01.14)
Defense, security major will be topics during Obama-Aquino meeting, says Palace (04.01.14)
Palace: Government watching oil price movements (04.01.14)
Bangsamoro Basic Law draft still on track: Palace (04.01.14)
No need for UN peacekeepers in West Philippine Sea, Palace says (04.01.14)

March 2014

Government ready to respond to drought, says Palace (03.25.14)
Coloma says he supports COA’s move to go after officials with unliquidated cash advances (03.18.14)
Philippines’s Ayungin presence, lawful, says Palace official (03.18.14)
Malacanang salutes OFWs for record remittance (03.18.14)
Coloma underscores truthful, complete information for effective communication (03.17.14)
Philippines remains top investment choice for European Union companies, says Coloma (03.14.14)
Palace now studying PMA Cadet Cudia’s appeal (03.13.14)
Government spells out measures to address Mindanao power shortage (03.13.14)
Malacanang lauds ERC for deciding against electricity price increase (03.11.14)
Malacañang wants public to exert pressure on elected lawmakers to pass FOI Bill (03.11.14)
Administration remains relentless in anti-corruption fight (03.06.14)
Negotiators to push country’s interest during talks on increased US rotational presence (03.06.14)
Palace: Government works to ensure stable power supply; asks for stakeholders’ cooperation (03.06.14)
Palace: PNP determined to maintain peace and order (03.04.14)
Palace condemns NPA landmine attack in Davao del Sur (03.04.14)
Land reform to continue despite termination of CARPER, says Palace (03.04.14)
Malacanang calls on all working personnel to pay correct taxes (03.04.14)
Palace assures government doing everything to address commuter's transportation woes (03.02.14)

February 2014

Palace: PSG member caught using cloned ATM card to face consequences of his alleged misdeed (02.23.14)
Palace: Coordination efforts of government meant to create clear understanding between affected agencies of truck ban(02.23.14)
Palace: Government exerting efforts to avert crisis from Manila truck ban (02.23.14)
Palace: Request made for Michael Martinez courtesy call on President Aquino (02.23.14)
Palace: President Aquino to inspect calamity-hit areas on 'EDSA Day' (02.23.14)
Palace: Tuesday a regular working day (02.23.14)
Palace respects former Sen. Arroyo call to reconsider appointment to Human Rights Claims Board
Government prioritizes infrastructure projects in addressing traffic congestion, Coloma says (02.21.14)
Philippines has good standing on reviving major infrastructure projects, says Palace (02.21.14)
Government remains open to talking peace with communist insurgents (02.21.14)
Malacanang calls on stakeholders to work harder with government in overcoming obstacles to ensure Philippines' readiness for ASEAN integration, Coloma says (02.19.14)
President Aquino cites 3 driving forces to ensure the country's readiness for ASEAN integration by 2015 (02.19.14)
Palace encourages voluntary remedial measures in dealing with traffic due to infrastructure work (02.18.14)
Government committed to fighting graft, says Palace (02.18.14)
Palace: There's no stopping government officials from taking public transport (02.18.14)
United States President Barack Obama to visit Philippines in April, Palace says (02.13.14)
Palace: Government to intensify efforts to safeguard journalists, freedom of expression (02.13.14)
President Aquino names nine-member Human Rights Victims' Claims Board, Palace official says (02.13.14)
Palace satisfied with PCGG efforts to recover ill-gotten wealth (02.13.14)
Palace expects truth to prevail in the ongoing Senate inquiry on pork barrel scam (02.13.14)
Palace: Government taking steps to ensure availability of LPG at reasonable prices (02.12.14)
Palace reassures families of victims in Bontoc bus tragedy of insurance benefits (02.12.14)
No singling out of Estradas in PDAF row, Palace maintains (02.12.14)
Aquino directs Cabinet Secretaries to intensify job creation and social protection programs, Palace says (02.12.14)
DOE advises power suppliers to conduct maintenance on power plants to ensure these will operate optimally in the summer (02.06.14)
Government taking steps to ensure power supply during summer, Palace assures (02.06.14)
Palace: Understanding, not retaliation, to be guide in dealing with Hong Kong concern (02.06.14)
Palace: Schools that adjusted calendars have their own charters (02.06.14)
Palace: Government confident of keeping inflation rate within target (02.06.14)
Aquino government to curb smuggling by bringing smugglers to the bar of justice (02.04.14)
Government working to improve agriculture sector’s performance, says official (02.04.14)
Palace: OES unit now handling complaint vs ERC chief (02.04.14)
Government to tap private sector to upgrade facilities of Orthopedic Center (02.04.14)
Palace: Government troops to fulfill sworn duty to protect people from BIFF (02.04.14)
Palace reminds Davao City mayor to uphold rule of law (02.04.14)
PCOO Assistant Secretary Marfil promoted to Undersecretary (02.04.14)

January 2014

Despite clash with breakaway group, Palace hopeful there will be no serious disruption of peace process (01.28.14)
Palace open to proposals that FOI Bill to include full disclosure of official’s earnings (01.28.14)
Palace: Status quo in Mindanao not acceptable (01.28.14)
Palace: Bangsamoro basic law may be certified urgent (01.28.14)
Effective crime prevention needs public cooperation, says Palace (01.28.14)
Palace spells out corrective measures to avoid future energy rate hikes (01.24.14)
Government to protect consumers from effects of strengthening US dollar, says official (01.24.14)
DFA dispatches officers to assist Filipino workers abused in Malaysia (01.24.14)
Palace appeals for patience as government constructs major infrastructure in Metro Manila (01.23.14)
Government campaign to protect journalists continuing, says official (01.23.14)
Government to ensure welfare of Filipinos amid Malaysia’s crackdown on illegal workers (01.23.14)
Social Weather Stations' survey in ‘Yolanda’ affected areas show higher satisfaction for President Aquino (01.23.14)
Aquino governments remains focused on improving the overall quality of life in the country, Coloma says (01.21.14)
Senator Revilla should have explained his PDAF allocation, says Palace (01.21.14)
Aquino government earmarks P1.4 trillion to improve the lives of Filipinos, Coloma says (01.21.14)
Government continues to engage stakeholders to ensure Mindanao peace (01.21.14)
Palace: Creating jobs remains major priority for government (01.21.14)
Coloma keynotes opening of this year’s ‘Salubungan’ workshop in Malacanang (01.16.14)
Pulse Asia survey says 3 out 4 Filipinos continue to support and trust President Aquino, Coloma says (01.14.14)

Coloma underscores significance of switching from analog to digital broadcasting (01.13.14)

Palace one with Cardinal Tagle's call for working for rehabilitation of calamity areas, fighting corruption (01.09.14)
DOH on top of tackling spread of measles in the country, says Palace (01.09.14)
Govt to protect consumers from unnecessary power rate hikes (01.09.14)
President Aquino convenes Cabinet Secretaries to speed up post-Yolanda rehabilitation program (01.09.14)

PCOO Chief warns vs scammers, namedroppers seeking Yolanda 'donations'

Palace: No time to lose on safe alternatives to fireworks (01.02.14)
Palace: President Aquino signs P14.6-B supplemental budget for calamity survivors (01.02.14)
Aquino government elated over United Nations's action adopting Philippine-sponsored resolution on violence against women migrant workers (01.02.14)
Palace: Phl dip in business ranking a learning point, continuing challenge (01.02.14)
Government agencies speed up burial of remains of 1,400 Yolanda fatalities (01.02.14)
Government remains committed to talking peace with leftist rebels, says Palace (01.02.14)
Palace reiterates respect for Ombudsman, judiciary's independence on PDAF cases (01.02.14)

Communications Secretary Coloma welcomes Filipino-American tourists to Malacañang
 

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. warmly welcomed the participants of this year’s 9th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors’ Tour (ACGTDT) at Malacañang Palace’s Heroes Hall on Wednesday.

Accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Secretary Coloma received the 264 ACGTDT delegates, all from the United States.

“Every Filipino who travels, or lives and works overseas, feels a deep sense of longing to come home and revisit the homeland. With as much enthusiasm and excitement as migrant Filipinos have aspired to explore and excel abroad, they are similarly filled with anticipation for rekindling friendships and re-creating the warmth of hearth and home,” he said in his brief welcome remarks.

Coloma shared his experience working inside the official workplace and residence of the President of the Philippines and how other people, including US President Barack Obama, were impressed by the grandeur of Malacañang.

The Palace tour is the highlight of the ACGTDT, which was conceptualized by Secretary del Rosario in 2005.

In his speech, Secretary del Rosario expressed gratitude as the program continues to achieve its objectives in “strengthening family ties, renewing friendships, building business partnerships, and leading to personal discoveries."

He underscored the ambassadors’ tour’s contribution to the tourism sector in sustaining the country’s socio-economic growth.

“Your tourism dollars have a multiplier effect on local businesses as revenues are generated by a number of supporting industries, including hotels, restaurants, and transportation, among others,” he said.

He noted that reforms are being undertaken by the government to further enhance the tourism industry.

“Much needed infrastructure is being prioritized, shortage of hotel rooms is being addressed, and aviation and industry taxes are being studied to make our tourism industry more competitive,” he said.

Del Rosario also gave a brief overview of the deepening and broadening relations of the Philippines and the United States, citing the recent visits of key US officials, among them President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

He also mentioned that the US’ $40-million grant under the Global Security Contingency Fund aims to further build the capacities of the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine National Police in terms of maritime security and counter-terrorism.

He reiterated that the recently signed Philippine-US Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement will bring greater advantage to the country in strengthening alliances, advancing defense capabilities, and increasing readiness in times of disaster.

He further noted that the Philippines’ economic partnership with the United States is “on an upward trajectory,” citing the Philippines’ upgrade to Category 1 status by the US Federal Aviation Administration and removal from the Special 301 Watch List.

Secretary del Rosario meanwhile disclosed that bilateral and multi-stakeholder consultations are being conducted to learn how joining Trans-Pacific Partnership would benefit the country.

He expressed hope that the delegates would have a deeper understanding of their roots and heritage by visiting the Philippines.

“The ACGTDT is an important program that significantly contributes to the deepening of our already robust relations. As both our countries march towards a future full of both opportunities and challenges, our partnership, whether economic, political, or people-to-people, must remain strong, steady and steadfast,” he said.

The ACGTDT, a joint project of all the Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the United States and Canada, aims to encourage Filipino-Americans to visit the Philippines as part of the country’s intensified tourism campaign.

The tour is led by ranking Philippine officials in North America and is participated by professional and business groups. Only the US is taking part in this year’s tour as Canada launched a separate tour last January 17 to 24.

The basic tour package consists of a three-day, four-night stay in Manila and other nearby destinations, a tour of Malacañang Palace, and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Monument.

Participants are also given welcome and farewell dinners as well as options to avail of tour packages to other top tourist destinations in the country, such as Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, and Bohol. PND (jb)

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Coloma highlights role of media in regional integration
 
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. has said that the media will play a significant role in raising awareness as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) prepares for regional integration next year.

The fulfillment of this ASEAN integration dream will not come as one big bang but it will gradually unfold and blossom, Coloma said.

"As ministers responsible for information, ours is the vital yet daunting task of creating heightened awareness and continually raising the consciousness of our peoples about the significance of the ASEAN Community," Coloma said in a statement for the participants of the 12th Conference of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information being held in Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar from June 9 to 13.

He said there is a need to reach a common understanding on the concept of “socially responsible media.”

In the Philippines, freedom of expression is highly valued, he said, adding that freedom of the press is also guarded with extraordinary zeal and vigilance.

The government is also firmly committed to upholding the principles of openness, transparency and public accountability and has institutionalized full disclosure of national and local budget, major disbursements and procurements, and implementation of programs and projects, he added.

He noted that the Aquino government has endeavored to engage private media practitioners and organizations, as well as members of civil society, in continuing dialogue to bridge differences in perspective and build common ground for collaborative action.

At the same time, Coloma renewed the country’s commitment to ASEAN community building.

He said that in recent meetings, the Philippines has actively espoused the formulation of national communication plans that are aligned with the three communication plans of the ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

The Myanmar conference on information has the theme, "Socially Responsible Media for a Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN Community”.

The next Conference of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information will be held in Manila in March 2016.

The members of the Philippine delegation are Undersecretary George Syliangco and Undersecretary Jess Yu of PCOO, Asec. Virgilio P. Nadal, Jr. of Radio-TV Malacañang, Philippine Information Agency Director Belina Capul, Philippine Broadcast System Director Tito G. Cruz, PCOO Directors Ma. Cristina C. Mariano and Ma. Cecilia Javillonar. PND (as)

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Aquino administration aggressively tackling climate change: Coloma
 

President Benigno S. Aquino III approved last month two resolutions tackling black carbon and authorizing the design of a sustainable power system for a more efficient energy production, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. announced on Tuesday.

The President last March 25 approved Resolution 6 by the Climate Change Commission, authorizing the dialogue with Worldwatch Institute for the design of “Sustainable Power System: A Roadmap for the Philippines.”

Through the resolution, the Climate Change Commission, which is in the process of carrying out the National Climate Change Action Plan, officially invites Alexander Ochs, director of the Climate and Energy Worldwatch Institute, to discuss his offer to help the country design a sustainable power system.

The President also approved the commission’s Resolution 7, which endorses the Black Carbon or Black Soot Mitigation Project.

Through the black carbon mitigation project, which is a private sector initiative, the Philippines could reduce pollution caused by diesel-fueled vehicles and generators.

Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez said the Aquino administration is determined to promote its program on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the conference, “Building Green: An LGU Imperative," to be held on April 23.

With the country’s reliance on coal and fossil fuels, Alvarez said, the government should start a gradual and creative policy shift to efficient and clean energy to achieve a low-carbon path for the Philippines.

Alvarez noted that the country has made advances in the development and use of renewable energy, as mandated by President Aquino.

The Philippines, he said, leads the Asian region in the development and use of renewable energy, which provides 35 percent of the country’s entire energy production. Geothermal energy contributes 21 percent of the total energy mix, according to Alvarez. PND (as)

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Coloma underscores truthful, complete information for effective communication
 
(TAGAYTAY CITY) Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. on Monday emphasized the importance of a complete, truthful and unified communications that would help the public in making responsible decisions.

Secretary Coloma talked about the Aquino administration’s communication directions during the 2014 Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Communications Planning Workshop held here in Tagaytay City.

“Naniniwala ang Pangulo na ang mahalaga sa lahat ay bigyan ng tama at sapat na impormasyon ang mga mamamayan,” the secretary told the participants of the Labor communications planning workshop.

“Kapag natanggap na nila ito, sila na mismo ang magpapasya; sila na ang magkukusang-loob na kumilos para baguhin ‘yung kanilang buhay, baguhin ang buhay ng kanilang komunidad at magbagong-tatag ng isang mas matibay na bansa,” he added.

Secretary Coloma said the government’s philosophy of an effective communication is “truth-telling, awareness-creation, and consciousness-raising.” He said the administration does not promote propaganda and censorship.

The secretary also said that the government focuses on the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, the administration’s development framework that seeks to address poverty, as well as achieve inclusive and sustainable socio-economic growth.

In communicating with the public, Coloma said that the government and its agencies should communicate a unified message. He said the media should be given timely and complete information, and they should be treated with respect and encourage professionalism.

He also cited that President Aquino speaks in the Filipino language in his speeches as he wants to reach all Filipinos not only the audience of the event venue. “Naniniwala ang Pangulo, tuwing siya ay nagsasalita, ang audience niya ay buong bansa,” he said.

The Department of Labor and Employment held a two-day communications planning workshop in Tagaytay City, which was attended by employees from the Labor Communications Office, as well as various regional offices and attached agencies. PND (co)

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Malacanang calls on stakeholders to work harder with government in overcoming obstacles to ensure Philippines' readiness for ASEAN integration, Coloma says
 
The Aquino administration called on all citizens, businessmen, and all stakeholders to work harder with the government in overcoming the obstacles to enhance the country's competitiveness and readiness for the integration of economies among the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2015, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Wednesday.

In his keynote speech during the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) 2nd General Membership Meeting held at the InterContinental Manila in Makati City, the Communications Secretary emphasized the need for the cooperation and participation of all stakeholders to ensure that the country is ready for ASEAN integration.

"The driving forces, as spelled out by President Benigno S. Aquino III are connectivity, productivity and complementarity," Coloma said.

"To be able to fully integrate with the rest of ASEAN and APEC, we need to work harder and smarter in overcoming the restraining forces: the structural blockages in our laws and infrastructure, the protectionists tendencies in business and industry and the propensity for self-flagellation in the mass media," he said.

"I suggest that we focus on three imperatives: First, intensify good governance advocacy (Integrity), second, promote a 'balanced perspective' in information and communication (institution building) and third, actively engage co-stakeholders in building alliance that will enhance Philippine's global competitiveness," Coloma said.

The ASEAN is pursuing the integration of economies among the 10-member states with the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community by December 2015. ASEAN is composed of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

"Let us strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth upon the building blocks of integrity and good governance and a commitment to excellence," Coloma said. PND (js)

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President Aquino cites 3 driving forces to ensure the country's readiness for ASEAN integration by 2015
 
President Benigno S. Aquino III has cited connectivity, productivity and complementarity as driving forces in enhancing the country's competitiveness and readiness for the integration of economies among the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2015, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Wednesday.

In his keynote speech during the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) 2nd General Membership Meeting held at the InterContinental Manila in Makati City, the Communications Secretary said the Chief Executive has discussed with concerned government agencies the policy agenda in ensuring that the Philippines is ready for ASEAN integration.

"On the sidelines of the Mindanao Business Forum held in Davao City last August 8, the President cited the importance of connectivity in terms of airports and seaports considering that the Philippines is an archipelago and, unlike other ASEAN member-countries, it does not have land boundaries with its neighboring countries," Coloma said.

The President also said the government has crafted measures to alleviate the country's poverty, he said.

"He also talked about addressing poverty among millions of Filipinos in the agriculture and fisheries sector," he said.

"Product diversification is another option that is actively pursued. According to the President, a Bicol University college of agriculture research team headed by its dean, Dr. Justino Arboleda, is presently drawing up a blueprint on the production of coconut by-products such as coco coir, cocopeat, coco water and charcoal briquette in factories that may be run by coconut farmers themselves. Initial studies show that payback period on initial investment can be as quick as one year," Coloma said.

President Aquino said the country's participation in ASEAN integration aims at providing greater access to new markets.

"President Aquino himself is upbeat and optimistic about the country's participation in ASEAN integration as it should send strong signals to a business community that seems to be skeptical about the country's prospects," he said.

"For those who share our President's view that current efforts are converging towards complementarity both within the country and in the region, then there is cogent reason to believe that, indeed, the Philippines is well-poised to take its place among the region's competitive economies in an integrated economic regime," Coloma said.

"We need to consolidate and fortify the gains we have achieved in terms of breaking out of the vicious cycle that made our country the 'sick man of Asia'," he said.

Financial executives gathered on Wednesday to discuss the challenges and opportunities of ASEAN integration.

The ASEAN is pursuing the integration of economies among the 10-member states with the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community by December 2015. ASEAN is composed of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines.

The integration will allow companies based in ASEAN member-nations to enter each other’s markets, with lowered tarriffs and capital market integration. PND (js)

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Coloma keynotes opening of this year’s ‘Salubungan’ workshop in Malacanang
 
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. keynoted Thursday in Malacanang the opening of the second Salubungan Workshop being spearheaded by the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC).

“Sa susunod na buwan ay ika-28 taon na ng paggunita natin sa diwa ng EDSA. Kaya’t mahalaga ang Salubungan. Ang EDSA 1986 ay salubungan ng maraming personalidad, puwersa at pangayayari,” Coloma said in his keynote message. “Yun ay salubungan sa pagitan ng diktadurya at demokrasya.”

Coloma said the real challenge to everyone today is how to create a better Philippines for the next generation of Filipinos.

The Salubungan Workshop is being held so that participants could exchange views on important issues and plan on how to relive the spirit of the EDSA People Power revolt, he said.

Coloma told the participants to make their experiences and personal views to become their guide during the discussions in the workshop and craft things that they would want to contribute for general welfare.

“Importante po dito yung nararamdaman po ninyo, yung saloobin ninyo, yung matibay ninyong paniniwala na ‘yun ang dapat na maganap,” he said, noting that the workshop is not an academic exercise.

The discussions will be more meaningful if the participants could feel that they were able to contribute in making the country a better place, he said.

“Magiging makabuluhan po itong ginagawa natin ngayon kung ang bawat isa sa inyo, pagkatapos nitong Salubungan, nararamdaman ninyo na naipahayag ninyo ang inyong saloobin, nararamdaman ninyo na naibahagi ninyo ang inyong paniniwala. At nararamdaman ninyo na kayo ay nakapag-ambag, that you have made a personal contribution in shaping a better future for our country,” he said.

The Salubungan Workshop, an annual three-day event, is a venue for groups from different parts of the country to come together and celebrate the Filipino spirit of volunteerism and love for country.

Participants in the workshop are expected to gain skills in funding and marketing their advocacies from experts in the field in the formal workshop to be held in La Consolacion College Manila.

Among the participants in the discussions will be EPPC commissioners, leaders and achievers in advertising, media, community development, and business sector. Members of the EDSA People Power Network will also be in attendance in the workshop.

The event is also supported by the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The workshop has for its theme: “Tatak EPPN Ako, Ito ang Taya Ko”. PND (as)

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Coloma underscores significance of switching from analog to digital broadcasting
 

President Benigno S. Aquino III has emphasized that the adoption of the Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting - Terrestrial (ISDB-T) system is aligned with the government’s objective of preventing casualty in times of calamities and disasters, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said on Monday.

Coloma said during the meeting with Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Yoshitaka Shindo at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel in Mandaluyong City that the Chief Executive has already given the go-signal to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to begin the groundwork for the adoption of ISDB-T system.

The adoption of ISDB-T was part of the agenda during President Aquino's meeting with members of his Cabinet on Monday, Coloma said. The new system is the most advanced international standard on digital terrestrial television broadcasting format originally developed in Japan.

The ISDB-T started in Japan in December 2003 and in Brazil in December 2007. The number of the country which has adopted its standard is gradually increasing with the recognition of its technological advantage.

Coloma said the presidential directive will pave the way for the phase out of analogue transmission in approximately two to three years to deliver better TV signals to every household across the country.

"The introduction of ISDB-T is timely for the disaster-resilient Philippines. The country experiences more than 20 typhoons every year," the Communications Secretary said.

"The breakdown of the communications system during the aftermath of super-typhoon Yolanda caused a bit of delay in responding to the needs of the people," Coloma said.

Coloma said the Philippines is joining other Asean member countries in switching over from analog to digital broadcasting.

"The evolution of TV broadcasting is one of the significant aspects of connectivity for the Asean Economic Community regional integration that is envisioned to be fully attained by 2015," he said.

Coloma said the NTC ascertained the compatibility of the ISDB-T system with mobile devices since there are approximately 90 million mobile phonesubscribers.

Shindo, for his part, expressed his government's heartfelt gratitude to the Philippines for adopting the ISDB-T which would suit the country’s requirements and would be most beneficial for the majority of the population.

He said ISDB-T has built-in early warning system to enable people with TV sets, mobile phones and other hand-held gadgets with TV receivers to receive early warning announcements and advisories from the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council and Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services.

It also has a built-in mobile transmission that can send early warnings to mobile phone users in the country at the shortest possible time, Coloma said.

These features are very much applicable to the Philippines since it has the same situation as Japan in terms of natural calamities.

Shindo said ISDB-T also brings new business opportunity for broadcasting companies.

Joining Shindo during the meeting were Japanese Vice Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs) Masahiro Yoshizaki, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe, and Japanese Telecommunications and Broadcasting companies officials.

Also in attendance were NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordova, Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary George Sylianco, Assistant Secretary Jess Yu and Radio-Television Malacanang Director Lito Nadal. PND (js)

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PCOO Chief warns vs scammers, namedroppers seeking Yolanda 'donations'
 

A Malacañang official on Monday cautioned the public to be wary of scammers using his name to solicit so-called donations for survivors of super typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan).

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said he learned of one scam using his name, after being told by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP).

"(Some unscrupulous individuals), while impersonating me, or claiming to represent me and my office, have resorted to soliciting donations related to Typhoon Yolanda," Coloma said.

Citing information reaching him, he said the scammers had tried to victimize members of the MAP and the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines.

In another incident, Coloma said a scammer dropped his name in calling a colleague and offering to set up a meeting with President Benigno Aquino III.

"I wish to emphasize that I did not - and will not - make such calls, nor authorize anyone to represent me in so doing," Coloma said.

"This is evidently the work of scammers. I am issuing statements to the mass media and in our office website as a precautionary advisory," he added.

Meanwhile, he asked the MAP to note the caller information used by the impostors, "so we can trace their identities and/or whereabouts and make them accountable for their illegal acts." PND (jl)

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