20 June 2016

500 guests to attend President-elect Duterte’s inauguration in Malacañang
About 500 guests are expected to attend the inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on June 30, consisting of members of his Cabinet, lawmakers, friends and members of the police and the military, incoming communication secretary Martin Andanar said on Monday.

“’Yung personal na bisita po ni President-elect nasa mga 150 to 190. Kasi siyempre merong mga senador ‘di ba, merong mga miyembro ng Kapulisan, Kongreso, the usual, mga Cabinet officials,” he told reporters in Malacañang Palace.

Due to the limited space at the Palace’s Rizal Hall, Duterte has asked the members of his Cabinet to discourage their spouses from attending the inauguration, Andanar said.

Asked where the new leader will stay, Andanar said they have not discussed this. Duterte has initially said that he would go home to Davao City every day.

Responding to questions whether Duterte is serious on his decision not to speak to the media for six years, Andanar said, “Wala naman siyang sinabi na six years. Wala naman siyang sinabing… Ang sabi yata ni France Noguera is ‘until the end of your term?’ Ang tanong kung meron bang sinabi kung anong term sa inyo.”

“Six years ‘yung presidency, I don’t think na ‘yung Presidente naman ay hindi kayo kakausapin. Kasi kung matatandaan niyo doon sa Cebu ay nakausap naman siya ng GMA, nakausap naman siya ng ABS-CBN,” he pointed out.

On the media’s attendance at the June 30 inauguration, Andanar said all members of the press will be given accreditation.

But for those who cannot get inside the Palace, they can monitor the event from the New Executive Building through a Radio TV Malacañang telecast, he said. PND (as)

Australian envoy calls on President Aquino
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Louise Gorely, together with some officials of the Embassy of Australia, paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Malacañang Palace’s Music Room on Monday.

Ambassador Gorely was joined by Australian Embassy Economic Counselor Daniel Featherston; Political and Public Affairs Counselor Richard Rodgers; Defense Attaché Captain Brad White; and Acting Deputy of Mission Robyn Biti.

Present on the Philippines’ side were Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras; Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Millicent Cruz-Paredes, and Director Princess Tomas-Tayao, both from the Office of Asia and Pacific Affairs.

Gorely was designated as Australia’s envoy to the Philippines in December last year, replacing Bill Tweddell.

The senior career officer with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has served as corporate counsel and head of the Corporate Legal Branch since 2012.

She previously worked as deputy high commissioner at the Australian High Commission in Wellington and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva. She was also assigned in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

In Canberra, Gorely served as assistant secretary of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Law Branch; director of the International Law Section; and director of the Human Rights and Indigenous Issues Section.

The Philippines has long-standing diplomatic relations with Australia. Last May, the two countries marked the 70th anniversary of their bilateral relationship.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in November last year, President Aquino and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed a Joint Declaration that launched a Philippines-Australia Comprehensive Partnership, marking a new era in bilateral relations and strengthening the links between the two economies. PND (jb)

Incoming secretary details changes in communication office under Duterte administration

Officials of the Aquino and incoming Duterte administrations continue to fine-tune the details of the transition to ensure a smooth transfer of mandate at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Monday.

“Patuloy ang aming pakikipag-ugnayan sa isa’t isa upang maibahagi kay incoming secretary Martin Andanar ang mga mahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa trabahong ginagampanan ng Communications Office,” Secretary Coloma told reporters at Malacañang Palace.

Coloma noted that during his first meeting with Andanar, they toured the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), People’s Television, National Printing, and the APO Production Unit at the PIA building in Quezon City

“Kanina ay nakipag-pulong siya sa mga nasa operations natin dito sa PCOO, kina Undersecretary Jan Co Chua, Assistant Secretary Cecille Javillonar at iyong iba pang kagawad ng ating tanggapan dito. Bahagi lang ito ng patuloy na pakikipag-ugnayan namin sa isa’t isa upang tiyakin ang isang seamless transition,” he said.

“Ang palagi kong tinatalakay sa kanya ‘yung kahalagan na bigyan kayo, na mga kagawad ng media, ng napapanahong impormasyon dahil ito ang mahalagang tungkulin na ginagampanan ninyo dito sa Tanggapan ng Pangulo at sa Palasyo ng Malakanyang.”

For his part, Andanar said that aside from attending meetings, he is also exchanging text messages with Secretary Coloma.

“Of course, kailangan po nating malaman kung ano ang mga dapat gawin, kung anong mga ahensiya ang dapat tutukan nang husto at kung ano pa ‘yung mga dapat na pagbabago na dapat gawin para mas lalo maging efficient ang pagpapatakbo ng ating mga ahensiya sa ilalim po ng PCOO,” he said.

He also reiterated that the PCOO will be renamed Presidential Communications Office or PCO.

Asked whether the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) will be dissolved, he said it will become a division under the PCO.

The PCDSPO, tasked to craft presidential speeches, is headed by Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III.

Andanar said they want to streamline the PCO.

“Ang kagandahan po nito ay hindi na po magiging medyo magulo iyong ating set up. Isa na lang ang magre-report sa Presidente, iyong Secretary na lang ng PCO at pati po ‘yung spokesperson, pagdating sa kanyang mga administrative work ay ako na po ang magre-report sa Gabinete para isa lang po ang panggagalingan ng report, administratively,” he said. PND (as)

President Aquino gets microsatellite ‘Diwata’ 1 replica, book from DOST
President Benigno Aquino III received a replica of Diwata-1, the Philippines’ very first microsatellite, during the courtesy call of officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) led by Secretary Mario Montejo at the President’s Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Monday, June 20.

Montejo, along with some engineers who designed and built Diwata-1, visited the President in Malacañang, more than one week before he steps down from office.

Aside from the replica, Montejo also presented a coffee table book titled “Diwata-1” to Aquino containing photos and articles of how the microsatellite was created.

The launch of Diwata-1 is considered as a milestone in the Aquino administration and in the country’s space technology.

Diwata-1 also known as PHL-Microsat-1 was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in March 23, 2016.

It was released from the Japanese Experiment Module nicknamed “Kibo” into outer space on April 27.

It is expected to be in orbit for around 20 months before it re-enters the atmosphere.

Equipped with four specialized cameras, Diwata-1 is expected to provide an average of 3,500 high-resolution images of the country that will be used for monitoring land and water resources and studying changing weather patterns, agriculture, fishery, forestry as well as disaster response and mitigation.

With the success of Diwata 1, the DOST is expected to launch the second microsatellite Diwata-2 in 2017. PND (jb)