Aquino invites British investors to participate in government’s PPP projects

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III has urged British investors to participate in the Philippine government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects.

President Aquino extended the invitation during his meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday here as part of his official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In the joint statement of President Aquino and Prime Minister Cameron, the two leaders agreed to further expand economic cooperation to pave the way for increased trade and investment flows between the Philippines and UK.

During the meeting, the Philippine leader also briefed Prime Minister Cameron on the Philippines’ Public-Private Partnership program and invited the UK government and the business sector “to continue sharing its vast expertise in this area, and encouraged British
investors to participate in the projects.”

The UK leader, in turn, assured President Aquino that the UK government had provided and would continue to provide expertise to the Philippines in shaping its PPP program and looked forward to British companies participating in projects.

The Philippines and the United Kingdom have enjoyed a robust economic partnership over the years. The United Kingdom is the Philippines’ top European investor, and the largest Philippine tourism market in Europe.

President Aquino also emphasized that the Philippines offered exciting investment opportunities for British business, especially in the sectors of energy, infrastructure, business- process outsourcing, information technology and tourism.

After his meeting with the UK Prime Minister, President Aquino attended the luncheon offered by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and presided by Minister Jeremy Browne and the Lord Mayor of London Alderman David Wootton at the Lancaster House. (PCOO)

President Aquino assures Philippine sports of continued gov’t support

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III assured proponents of Philippine sports of continued government support to ensure that Philippine athletes get the training and equipment they deserve to make it in the international sports arena.

The President gave this assurance in his speech keynoting the formal opening of the 2012 Palarong Pambansa held at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center here on Monday.

“Maasahan naman ninyo na patuloy ang suporta ng inyong pamahalaan sa pagpapabuti at pagpapaigting sa larangan ng sports sa bansa,” the President said.

He pointed out that aside from setting aside P200-million from the Department of Education’s budget for this year’s Palarong Pambansa, the government, through the Philippine Sports Commission has laid down the national plan for sports — the 2011-2016 Philippine Sports Roadmap.

This roadmap, the President said, has a “focus sports policy” which centers attention on the further development of choice sports field such as boxing, taekwondo, athletics, swimming, wushu, archery, wrestling, bowling, weightlifting and billiards.

He said P200-million representing 33 percent of annual remittances from the National Sports Development Fund will be used to fund the roadmap.

This fund, the President said, would be used to finance the Philippine National Games, that will give athletes at the grassroots level a chance to showcase their talent in hopes of landing a place with the Philippine Team. (PCOO)

ADB, country’s partner for development, Aquino says

President Benigno S. Aquino III addressed the opening ceremony Friday of the Asian Development Bank 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors and expressed his gratitude for the continued support of the financial institution to the country.

In his speech during ADB’s annual gathering at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, the President spelled out the reform measures his administration has carried out that benefited a large number of Filipinos especially the poor.

Through these measures, he said his government was able to intensify social and infrastructure investments, develop its human resources, and increase the budget on education and health care.

During the initial period of the new administration, the President said they were able to channel more government resources to the poor and underprivileged.

“The government’s conditional cash transfer program experienced an almost fourfold increase over the past two years, from P10 billion in 2010, catering to about 800,000 families, to P39.4 billion this year for over three million families. All of these we were able to do without raising taxes,” the President said.

“These are amounts that have been generously augmented by those who share our vision of an equitably progressive Philippines. The Asian Development Bank’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) assistance to the Philippines amounts to $761.97 million,” he added.

These include $643.85 million to projects concerning social protection and support for agrarian reform; rural infrastructure enhancement, and credit for better health care and irrigation in the Southern Philippines, the President said.

The chief executive also mentioned ADB’s participation in the Public-Private Partnership Program and the government efforts to reform the justice system and carry out the energy- efficient electric tricycle project. The government has started to achieve its goal because of ADB’s help, he noted.

“For this, you have the gratitude of our people, and a commitment from my administration. Gone are the days when the funds you funnel to our country will end up like water leaking through a broken pail,” the President said assuring the financial institution to continue seeing results of good government in the Philippines. The country, he said, is prepared to follow through on its commitments.

Among those who joined the President during ADB’s opening ceremony include Vice President Jejomar Binay, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando
Tetangco Jr. (PCOO)

Aquino cites Chinese-Filipino Business Club members as invaluable partners of gov’t in nation building

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III cited the members of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Incorporated (CFBCI) for being invaluable partners with government in nation building.

In his speech keynoting the CFBCI’s 7th Biennial Convention on Thursday at the Manilia Hotel, the President said the group’s unwavering compassion and continued engagement to help in government efforts to improve the lives of the people was key to the success of this endeavor.

“Your organization (CFBCI) is among those who did not waver in their resolve to help this country. Ever since your establishment in 1998, you have been doing what you can to support this nation,” the President said.

He noted that the group’s aid was as far-reaching and diverse as to help improve the Philippine National Police’s mandate to protect the people through the CFCBI’s donation of thirty motorcycles that will “help us strengthen our police force’s law enforcement capabilities” to providing services to the community that help in economic development.

“The Chinese-Filipino Business Club, Inc., or the CFBCI, has also been very helpful on the economic front, supporting the government in its efforts to create jobs and strengthen the economy. You have actively undertaken trade missions and tax consciousness campaigns, among other projects,” the President said.

He thanked CFBCI for being “responsible corporate citizens” in spearheading talks with government officials about projects such as drug consciousness campaigns, and book drives for the less fortunate.

“For this, I extend my gratitude to all the members and the board of the CFBCI. Your members are some of the most successful businessmen in the country, and you could have simply focused your efforts on turning in even larger profit margins for your companies, but instead you’re here, intent on giving back to the community,” the President said.

“These initiatives of yours can only be good for your businesses. After all, a good community is vital to fostering a good business environment,” he added. (PCOO)

Malacanang says DOE is forming a team to scrutinize oil companies

THE Department of Energy (DoE) is currently forming a team that will scrutinize the books of accounts of the oil companies in support of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s call for transparency, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

“From what I understand from Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, they are close to already forming the team that will scrutinize the books of the oil companies. They already have representation from the sectors,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said
during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday.

Report said the oil firms are willing to open their books of accounts for government examination in response to a call from the President to face public scrutiny.

On the other hand, various groups expressed concern over reports that oil players will implement upward price adjustments this January, according to news reports.

Valte assured that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is regularly conducting monitoring of prices to prevent overpricing.

Oil companies are ready to follow the requirements being imposed by the DoE as mandated by appropriate provisions” relevant laws, such as the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation

The oil firms are also mandated to comply strictly with the “financial protocols of the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Internal Revenue, as well as statutory submissions to the Securities and Exchange Commission. (PCOO)