October 24 2015

APEC News Release

Palace: DBM not holding people’s survival fund intended for climate change mitigation
The Palace denied that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is holding the P1 billion People’s Survival Fund (PSF) intended for climate change mitigation initiatives.

Senator Chiz Escudero called on the DBM to make the one-billion peso people’s survival fund available to local communities.

In a radio interview on Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the DBM is not the lead agency in implementing the initiative.

A board, headed by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, was created to facilitate the access to the fund. The creation of the board was mandated in the law that put up the PSF.

Among the members of the board include the vice chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, the budget secretary, the director-general ng National Economic Development Authority, DILG secretary, chairperson ng Philippine Commission on Women, one representative each from the academe, scientific community, business sector, and from non-government organization.

“Very recently, Secretary Purisima announced that the call for proposals for access to the PSF will be on October 28, 2015,” she said noting the board would soon receive proposals from LGUs who wants to avail of the fund.

It took time before the board started accepting proposals because the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) should have to be put up, and there must be criteria in place.

“Hindi naman po kasi pwedeng basta’t sinabing climate change mitigation related tatanggapin na at bibigyan na ng pondo,” Valte said.

“They wanted to make sure that it was very streamlined, it was very standard, that the systems are transparent to enable everyone to better access the fund.”

Valte also brushed off notions that the administration will only support LGUs allied with the administration saying the money will be available to everyone.

“The reason why they wanted very clear guidelines on what proposals can and cannot be accepted was precisely for the fact that it has to facilitate equal access for everyone regardless of political affiliation,” she said.

“Nakikita naman po natin ‘yan, I think even in past calamity situations—hindi naman pinipili ng national government kung sino ‘yung kanilang tutulungan.” PND (as)

Palace commends UN, says world body a ‘beacon of hope’
Malacanang expressed its gratitude to the United Nations for all its support as the world body celebrates the United Nations Day today.

“We commemorate United Nations Day as a time when individual governments have agreed that an international body must be established to ensure the primacy of diplomacy however complicated the international arena may be,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement she read Saturday over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

“Now, more than ever, the significance of United Nations cannot be overemphasized as governments continue to resort to the UN and its various agencies for the promotion of peace, health, and development.”

Valte commended the United Nations as it continues to function as a beacon of hope and a voice of reason in the international stage.

The Palace official also thanked the United Nations for its assistance to the country in times of need, along with the international community.

In aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, the United Nations was one of the first organizations to commit assistance to victims of the calamity, Valte said.

October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. PND (as)

Government to increase state workers’ pay soon, says Palace official
The government will soon augment the salaries of state workers after the administration reported it already made progress in standardizing their salaries.

Quoting President Aquino in an interview this week, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said they are “making very good progress on that proposal because at the end of the day we want to be able to give our government workers a competitive standing as compared to their counterparts in the private sector.”

Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday that so far, the government has already standardized the pay of workers in government-owned and/or -controlled corporations, and the administration would want to replicate it to other agencies.

“Of course, hindi naman po necessarily pareho ‘yung numbers, but the President said we would want to do something similar for those in government service,” Valte told dzRb Radyo Ng Bayan.

Asked if the salary increase could be given as Christmas gift or farewell gift for state employees, she said: “hindi naman ito intended as a Christmas gift, but it would be sooner rather than later.”

In the 14th SEIPI CEOs forum on Friday, the President said they were considering a new round of salary standardization increases.

“The idea is to match the private sector by about 70 percent of what a private sector employee gets and the bonuses will no longer be pro forma bonuses but rather performance-based bonuses,” the President said.The Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) system is a merit-based incentive program that recognizes and rewards exemplary performance in government.

Launched by the Aquino administration in 2012, the PBB ultimately aims to improve the delivery of goods and services to the public as well as institute a culture of excellence in public service across the bureaucracy.

The PBB is “a top-up bonus to be given to personnel of bureaus or delivery units in accordance with their contribution to the accomplishment of their department’s overall targets and commitments.”

The bonus is given when the department achieves the performance targets under their respective so-called major final outputs and also their priority program commitments earlier approved by the President.

The government is adjusting the salaries of state workers to discourage them from being involved in corruption, the President said. PND (as)

APEC calls for implementation of intelligent transport systems by member economies
(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies are encouraged to implement the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of transport infrastructures, especially recognizing the significant safety and environmental benefits that may be realized simultaneously.

The ministers responsible for transportation in the APEC region made the call in their joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 2015 APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting held here earlier this month.

“The development of ITS is essential to the improvement of the transportation system in the APEC region,” the APEC ministers declared.

The ITS are advanced applications that aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and “smarter” use of transport networks.

Such systems vary in technologies applied, from basic management systems such as car navigation; traffic signal control systems; container management systems; variable message signs; automatic number plate recognition or speed cameras to monitor applications, such as security CCTV systems; and to more advanced applications that integrate live data and feedback from a number of other sources.

“We encourage economies to cooperate with the relevant authorities or organizations to ensure data protection and system integration and integrity,” the APEC ministers said in their joint statement. “In addition, security measures need to be put in place and actively maintained to support the use of big data in ITS applications.”

Consistent with initiatives to promote inclusive, user-friendly mobility, they also recommended that economies explore how ITS can make transportation networks more accessible to persons with disabilities, older people, women, children and students, low-income populations, and other vulnerable groups.

Furthermore, the transportation ministers expressed their support for the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Implementation Team and stress the importance of the application of GNSS technologies in achieving seamless and green intermodal transportation to enhance safety, security and sustainability.

In view of this, they encourage economies to continue to promote and adopt GNSS technologies, especially those that will contribute to the improvement of supply chain connectivity as well as to the enhancement of capabilities for preparedness to natural disasters and emergency response.

The 21-member economies of APEC are also encouraged to support a task force established by the APEC Transportation Working Group (TPTWG) to explore the benefits and challenges of APEC-wide Transport Cards.

Last year, Korean President Park Geun-hye proposed the introduction of a transportation card that could be used anywhere in the member economies of APEC.

The card proposed by the South Korean leader needs a standardized system of public transport fare technology. It would allow people to use any type of public transport, railroad or expressway with one card, anywhere within APEC. This is similar to Korea’s national “One Card All Pass” system.

Park proposed the plan as a measure to enhance regional connectivity and promote the liberalization of trade and investment across APEC countries. Her proposal is reflected in the implementation report of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint. (APEC Communications Group)