02 Mar 2016

President Aquino leads Presidential Security Group’s 30th Founding Anniversary
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday praised the Presidential Security Group (PSG) for its dedication to service, thanking its members for protecting him and his family in the past five years.

In a speech for the PSG’s 30th Founding Anniversary, held at the PSG Grandstand in Malacañang Park, President Aquino said the group has evolved into a more professional security service of the Armed Forces, compared to the security group during the Marcos regime.

At the same time, the President commended the PSG for its successes even in the face of such challenges as the Zamboanga siege, the Bohol and Cebu quake, Typhoon Yolanda, the visit of Pope Francis, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, as well as other huge events in the country.

“Lahat nga ng pinasok nating alanganin, nariyan kayo lagi, at nakabantay sa kaligtasan ko,” he said.m

The PSG is part of the reforms carried out by the government, he said, noting that the country has begun to reap the fruits of this transformation.

Among these changes, he said, is the drop in the number of poor people in the country, with 7.7 million Filipinos being lifted out of poverty through the government’s pro-poor measures.

The President specifically expressed his gratitude to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former PSG Commander Chito Dizon, and current PSG chief, Raul Ubando, for their unwavering dedication to service.

“Wala akong ibang salitang maisusukli sa inyong wagas na serbisyo, kundi ‘Maraming maraming salamat.’ Salamat, sa araw-araw na pagsiguro sa kaligtasan ko at ng aking pamilya. Salamat, sa pakikiramay sa hirap at ginhawa sa trabaho, kahit pa alam ninyong mas madalas, sa hirap ang pinagsasaluhan,” he said.

“Salamat, sa pagturing ninyo sa akin, hindi lang bilang inyong Commander-in-Chief, kundi pati na rin bilang kaibigan at kapamilya. Salamat, dahil nariyan kayo, mas epektibo kong naisasabuhay ang atas ng ating mga Boss na ipaglaban ang malawakang pagbabago sa lipunan.”

The President said that in his remaining 121 days in office, he expects the PSG to live up to its motto of “Integrity, Service, and Excellence” in doing its service to the nation.

President Aquino also led the awarding rites for outstanding PSG members, both uniformed personnel and civilian employees.

Among the awardees were Col. William Alunday, Presidential Legion of Honor Awards; Col. Rosalito Martirez, Presidential Legion of Honor Awards; Cdr. Edwin Nera, Presidential Medal of Merit; Maj. Xavier Celestial, Outstanding Achievement Medal; Lt. Col. Edralin Poblete, Organic Officer of the Year; Maj. Chester Guazon, Operationally Controlled Officer of the Year; TSG. Jose Fulay Jr., Organic Enlisted Personnel; TSG. Deoderick Rigon, OpCon Enlisted Personnel of the Year; and Dr. Catherine Bellen, Civilian Employee of the Year. PND (as)

President Aquino leads ceremonial lighting of 2,864 sitios in Central Visayas
(TAGBILARAN, BOHOL) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday led the switch-on ceremony for the electrification of sitios in Central Visayas.

Under the Sitio Electrification Program in Region VII, 2,684 sitios have already been energized from October 2011 to January 2016, with a total of 31,253 initial household connections.

“Ngayong araw nga po, nasaksihan na natin ang seremonyal na pagpapailaw ng 2,684 na sitio dito sa Central Visayas sa ilalim ng Sitio Electrification Program na pinangunahan ng DOE, ng NEA, at nagawa sa tulong ng ating mga electric cooperatives. Maraming salamat po sa kanilang lahat,” Aquino said in his speech.

The energized sitios include 469 in Bohol province, 2,097 in Cebu province and 118 in Siquijor province.

“Ang good news, dito po sa Bohol, 100 percent energized na po ang ni-report sa atin sa lahat ng inyong mga sitio,” he said.

The President said the government has already energized 32,026 sitios in the whole country, a 98.72 percent completion rate.

“Bago nga raw po matapos ang Marso, matatapos na ang lahat ng natukoy sa ating imbentaryo. Marso pong kasalukuyan iyan, hindi 2017,” he said.

Also present at the ceremony are Department of Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada, Department of Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Bohol Governor Edgardo Chatto, and Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos.

Chatto expressed gratitude to President Aquino for the Sitio Electrification Program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Bottom-up Budgeting, and the New Panglao Airport, among others. PND (kt)

President Aquino leads capsule-laying ceremony for Panglao International Airport
(PANGLAO, Bohol) President Benigno S. Aquino III led the capsule-laying rites for the construction of the P7.14 billion Panglao international airport that is expected to boost tourism in the Central Visayas region.

The new airport, which will be completed in December next year, will be built in Panglao Island and will replace the existing airport in Tagbilaran City.

Tagbilaran airport can no longer be expanded due to geographical constraints and also poses a safety hazard because of the absence of proper landing equipment.

The new airport could accommodate the increasing passenger traffic in Bohol and will comply with international standards on safety and security, according to its proponents.

Under the project, which will include the construction of a 2,000-meter runway, two taxiways, car park and an access road, a single-storey passenger building will also be constructed as well as a nine-storey control tower building.

Also part of Panglao airport’s infrastructure includes an administration building, fire station, a power house building, water tank, power supply and sewage treatment system.

Among the air navigational facilities include glide slope and localizer, ATS and telecommunications and meteorological observation system. Aeronautical ground lighting will also be built, which will include precision approach lighting system and a simple approach lighting system.

The Department of Transportation and Communication said the new airport will the first eco-friendly and energy efficient airport in the country. To save energy, solar power generation system as well as solar panel heaters will be installed.

LED lights, day light sensors and double glazing low emissivity glass will also be introduced.

The Panglao airport will boost tourist arrivals by three folds, from more than 500,000 tourists a year to 1.7 million per year.

World-class airport operators are bidding late this month to manage the airport under the government’s public private partnership (PPP) scheme, the DOTC said. The agency targets to award the airport operation by June this year.

In his speech after the capsule-laying event, the President highlighted the importance of the new airport in boosting tourist arrivals in Bohol, noting every tourist arriving in the province has a multiplier effect on the local economy, particularly on job creation.

“Ito nga po ang isa sa mga pinakamabilis na magagawa natin para madagdagan ang oportunidad na kayo ay masagad ang pagkakataon na paangatin ang inyong mga buhay,” he said.

Panglao Airport is one of the major infrastructure projects in Bohol, according to the President.

From 2011 to 2016, the President reported that the government allotted P10.45 billion for Bohol. This amount was spent for the construction of roads, bridges, school buildings, health facilities and flood control projects.

“Kasama din sa inayos natin ang malaking bahagi ng Panglao Island Circumferential Road, na lalong aakit pa sa maraming turista dito sa inyong isla, at magpapaunlad sa daloy ng serbisyo at komersyo sa inyong lalawigan,” the President told Boholanos.

The infrastructure budget is separate from the DOTC allocation intended for the construction of airports and ports, he said adding that from 2011 to 2016, the DOTC budget for Bohol reached P8.5 billion.

“Biruin niyo po, sumatotal, halos P19 bilyon na ang nailaan nating budget para suportahan ang imprastruktura at turismo dito sa Bohol,” he said. PND (as)