23 Apr 2016

Wrong choice of leaders this May election may impact on the economy, says Palace
The Filipino public must make the right choice this coming May polls to sustain the economic gains by the administration and avoid reverting back to uncertainty, a Palace official said.

Standard & Poor Ratings Services affirmed the the country’s ‘BBB’ long-term and ‘A-2’ short-term sovereign credit ratings of the Philippines citing the country’s strong external position, its big foreign reserve and low external debt.

But Standard & Poor’s warned that the country’s ratings could drop if there is a slow down in the government reform agenda or reverse the current economic gains.

The Philippines has obviously improved its credit standing and this reflects in the domestic loans that became favorable to consumers, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) said in a radio interview Saturday.

“At kung sinasabi na investment grade ang Pilipinas. Ibig sabihin ‘nun may tiwala din ang merkado sa lahat ng mga Pilipino at dahil bahagi tayo ng pambansang ekonomiya,” he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

Standard & Poor’s is right in its cautioning note because the country strived hard to attain such high credit rating, Quezon said.

“Ito ay naidulot dahil nagkaroon tayo ng fiscal prudence, maayos ang paggastos, pag-handle ng salapi ng sambayanan at responsable ang mga patakaran ng gobyerno,” he said.

As the new administration takes office in the middle of this year, Quezon said it is free to alter, reverse or amend the existing economic government policies.

The country’s high ratings isn’t infinite and they must be nurtured and protected because they are based on a track record. And if these ratings are taken for granted, there will be consequences, he said.

“So, it’s a timely reminder to all of us to vote on the basis of a responsible frame of mind,” Quezon said. PND (as)

Palace already investigating ‘Comelec data hacking’
Malacanang addressed on Saturday the “hacking” of Comelec data saying its IT experts are investigating whether there is a breach in the Palace’s security protocols and if hackers were able to use the Malacanang Internet domain.

Netizens have complained that Malacañang downloaded the Comelec data.

In a radio interview on Saturday, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon of the PSDSPO said Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. was informed on the evening of April 21 at 9:55 p.m of social media screen shots that purportedly showed OP’s mail server being used to torrent and seed the Comelec data.

Quezon said that as of yesterday morning, there was continuing screen shots that the torrent was still being downloaded or seeded using the address.

The Office of the President-MIS department is now conducting investigation on the Palace’s subdomain ‘mail.malacañang.gov.ph’, which has been delegated to as specific mail server under the OP-MIS department since May of 2011.

The OP-MIS is trying to find out if the server was used to download and seed the torrent, if the server was compromised or if a remote client was using the mail server to access the Internet or whether hackers intentionally forged this host name to appear as ‘mail.malacañang.gov.ph’ with malicious intention, Quezon told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

But so far, Quezon said that the OP-MIS said no unusual activity has been detected which suggests at this point the possibility of a malicious forgery.

According to the OP-MIS department, it has not detected any unusual activity. So it appears that somebody intentionally forged the name to make it appear mail.malacanang.gov.ph, according to Quezon.

“Now, in terms of accountability. It will be the Executive Secretary to determine the accountability if proven that someone indeed used the mail server to download the Comelec data,” he said.

“And as far as prevention is concerned, as Secretary Coloma said in his briefing yesterday: ‘This matter is being looked into as part of continuing efforts to improve IT security protocols,'” he added.

The ongoing investigation is still not conclusive and they are waitting for the final report of the OP-MIS, he said. PND (as)

Palace asks public to watch final ‘Pilipinas’ presidential debate on Sunday
The Palace encouraged the people to watch the third and final presidential debate in Pangasinan on Sunday to know who’s the best to lead the country in the next six years.

“Ito na ang pangatlo at huling oportunidad para kilatisin natin lahat ng mga nagpre-presenta na maging susunod na pangulo ng ating bansa,” Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the PCDSPO said in a radio interview.

“Siguro po dahil ang init ng panahon, may insentibo tayong lahat na manatili sa bahay at manuod bukas ng gabi… but seriously, unang-una siguro dapat pasalamatan natin ang Comelec at ang mga networks, online, on radio, and on TV dahil nakita natin na talagang nakatulong ito sa mga kababayan natin para mag-isip, mag-timbang ng kanilang magugustuhan bilang susunod na pangulo at pangalawang pangulo.”

Quezon said the presidential debate will heighten social discourse to give the voters the best option about their choice of new leaders.

“Sana po panuorin natin ito, sana na rin, i-angat ang antas ng diskurso ng lahat ng mga kandidato upang maging malalim, masustansya, at mahinahon ang pag-uusap at sa paraan na ‘yun, makita natin kung ano ba talaga ang mga plano, at hindi lang mga pangako, ng ating mga kandidato.”

Two weeks before the May 9 election, the five candidates for the highest office in the land will again try to win more votes in the final PiliPinas Debate at the Phinma-University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City.Among the expected participants will be Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe, and former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

Ordinary people could ask the candidates about urgent issues affecting them in a town hall debate organized by the Commission on Elections, the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas (KBP), ABS-CBN and Manila Bulletin.

A number of issues to be tackled include free basic education, OFW concerns and employment opportunities, the maritime dispute with China, peace in Mindanao, Metro traffic and the public transportation system, basic health care, jobs and unfair labor practice.

President Aquino has been encouraging the people to support administration candidates to ensure the continuity of his “Daang Matuwid” reform agenda. PND (as)