Government maintains support for K+12 program of DepEd

THE Aquino administration defended its move to implement the Department of Education’s K+12 education program this school year saying the new initiative would help reduce the country’s unemployment rate, noted a Palace official.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the statement during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday amid reports that various groups are urging President Benigno S. Aquino III to reconsider and postpone the implementation of K+12 program.

Lacierda said the government understands the reaction of the various groups. “There have always been resistance to something new. But as we go along, we will be able to adjust to that,” Lacierda said.

The administration is optimistic that the public would eventually support the new initiative aimed at improving the country’s educational system, according to Lacierda.

K+12, as envisioned by DepEd, also aims to produce high school graduates who have the competency to land a job and to be better prepared for college education and global opportunities.

“Should these highschool graduates decide not to pursue college studies, they will still be able to find employment opportunities after highschool,” Lacierda said.

The opening of classes this school year was marked by the pilot implementation of the K+12 Program. During the opening of classes on June 4, the DepEd welcomed 21.49 million students in public schools.

Lacierda also assured the government is addressing the shortage of classrooms. When President Aquino assumed office in 2010, there was a shortage of more than 60,000 classrooms in the country.

Under President Aquino’s watch, the government was able to build 10,000 classrooms and an additional 30,000 classrooms this year with the help of the different sectors.

Lacierda said the government is doing its best to fast track the building of more classrooms to address the shortage. (PCOO)

Palace defends economic achievements from criticisms

MALACANANG expects to post significant growth in the agriculture sector given the increased budget allotted to the Department of Agriculture this year, which is expected to uplift the national economy as a whole.

In a press conference on Thursday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda fended off criticisms that say the country will not experience much economic growth this year due to weak government policies.

Lacierda said the country posted increased agricultural production despite the storms and calamities that hit the Philippines last year.

“Agricultural productivity is growth, is real and equitable growth. So many people would be benefited from increased agricultural productivity,” he said in response to comments claiming that the government hasn’t produced more jobs.

This is growth for the farmers; agricultural productivity will benefit a great number of our people,” he stressed”.

With a bigger budget this year, the DA said it would vigorously pursue initiatives that will ensure sufficiency in major staples by 2013 that include rice, white corn, cassava, and other basic commodities.

In his 2011 year-end report, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said a big chunk of the  DA’s 2012 budget of P61.73 billion will be spent to implement the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), which is the centerpiece program of the Aquino administration.

The program intends to frontload investments, particularly on infrastructure such as irrigation, farm-to-market roads, and postharvest facilities, Alcala said.

With an allocation of P24.5 billion for 2012 for irrigation, Secretary Alcala said the DA will construct new irrigation systems, and restore and rehabilitate existing ones that service a total of 224,850 hectares of farm lands nationwide.

For postharvest and other infrastructures, the DA has alloted P11.28 billion. This will be spent to construct drying, storage, and processing facilities, storage and milling equipment, including dairy equipment and machineries.

The DA said it would also construct major agri-fishery trading centers in many areas throughout the country. (PCOO)

Aquino’s visit to China to generate about $2-$7 billion worth of investments

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III’s first state visit to the People’s Republic of China is expected to generate about $2-billion to $7-billion worth of investments from various Chinese companies in support of the public-private partnership (PPP) projects of the administration.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio gave this ‘ballpark figure’in an interview he granted with the members of the media at the Traders Hotel here, early Tuesday evening, hours before President Aquino arrived.

Panlilio was firm and positive about the ‘serious investments’ the government would get from various Chinese companies which would likely go to mining, infrastructure, energy, ship building, and the agri-business sectors.

Panlilio said there are Chinese mining firms that have expressed interests in joint ventures with Filipino companies given the country’s richness in major minerals such as gold deposits, copper, nickel, and chromite.

Panlilio also cited significant improvements made by the Aquino administration towards preventing corruption in the government based on the latest assessment made by the World Bank which could increase the level of confidence investors have in the country.

The DTI executive pointed out that President Aquino’s state visit to China has become so significant given the ‘historic high’ number of business delegation (250) that decided to get involved in this presidential trip.

“We’ve never had a business delegation as big as this in the history of presidential trips abroad and what is significant about this trip is that there was so much interest—and, of course, this is KKB (kanya-kanyang bayad).  Nobody is in for a free ride here. All [members] of the business delegation are putting good money to be here in support of the President’s drive, you know, for business and trade promotion,” Panlilio said.

Mga anomaliya sa gobyerno, mahimo nang isumbong sa COA citizen’s desk

TAGBILARAN CITY, Aug. 16 (PIA) – GI-AGHAT sa Commission on Audit (COA) ang publiko sa pagtabang sa pagsumpo sa mga anomaliya sa gobyerno.

Sa usa ka radio interview, gi-aghat ni COA Chief Grace Pulido Tan nga i-report sa COA citizens’ desk ang impormasyon nga nahibaw-an sa publiko sa pag usik-usik sa pondo sa gobyerno.

Matud pa ni Tan nga daku ang matabang sa mga katawhan kun isumbong nila ang tinuod nga nahitabo nga mahimong gamiton nga basehan sa himuong imbestigasyon.

Giseguro niya nga dili angay mabalaka ang mga “tipster”.

Gihisgotan usab ni Tan nga gikonsidera usab sa komisyon ang pagtangtang na sa mga resident auditor sa nagkalain-laing ahensya sa gobyerno aron malikayan ang pagkasuod na sa ahensya ug sa COA personnel nga maule sa suhulan ug pagtabon sa anomaliya.

Gipahayag ni Tan nga magtakda na lamang sila og field work sa mga ahensya. (PIA-Bohol/ecb)

Palace says government to spend more in second half of 2011

THE Aquino administration will carry out more aggressive spending in the second half of 2011 particularly in major infrastructure projects even as it ensures that public money will be spent wisely, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

In a regular press briefing on Wednesday in Malacanang, Lacierda said the Aquino leadership has to fix the excesses of the past administration by restructuring and reviewing the whole process of allocating and releasing money.

“It took some time for us to do that. We don’t want to waste taxpayers’ money. That’s precisely why there was under spending – to make sure that the money we spend will be spent prudently and wisely,” he said.

He reiterated that there was under spending in the first half of the year because the present administration has to clear some processes, do some changes and studies to avoid the mistakes of the past administration.

Lacierda also noted that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad assured the senators this week during a budget hearing that the country could expect increased spending in public infrastructure in the next half of the year after the government initiated the reform measures.

Some senators have raised the necessity for an aggressive spending in the first half of the year to boost the local economy which could protect the country from possible fallout from the U.S. economic slowdown following a credit rating downgrade. (PCOO)