Philippines adopts National Climate Change Action Plan

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III convened the Climate Change Commission to adopt the National Climate Action Plan in compliance with the country’s international commitments especially to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention.

President Aquino chairs the Climate Change Commission, an independent and autonomous body that has the similar status of a national government agency.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who met President Aquino at the Palace Tuesday, said the plan is about adaptation to climate change and mitigating its impact particularly on the economy.

The action plan will also become the basis of any assistance that will come from industrialized countries in Europe and the US, which are being blamed for global warming because of massive use of fossil fuels in their industries.

The national action plan will be presented to the climate change conference to be held in Durban, South Africa, and it will be the basis of compensatory measures that rich countries have committed to pay.

Included in the national plan are the guidelines and framework on how the country can use the assistance once it is approved in Durban.

The Philippines will join other countries in pushing for financial assistance to fight climate change as the country’s negotiators leave late this month for Durban.

Last December, negotiators agreed to create a green climate fund that could be accessed by vulnerable countries like the Philippines. They are expected to tackle in the Durban meeting the way to get the money once the fund is approved. (PCOO)

PHL, Vietnam governments to address unregulated fishing by Vietnamese fishermen in Philippine shores

THE governments of Vietnam and the Philippines have expressed willingness to address the recurring problem of unregulated fishing by Vietnamese fishermen in Philippine waters based on existing Fisheries Law in the country, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Wednesday. Del Rosario made the statement as he confirmed the release of 120 Vietnamese fishermen who were caught poaching by Philippine authorities.

He also said that the release by the government of seven fishing vessels that were engaged in the same unregulated activity were in accordance with the willingness of President Benigno S. Aquino III to resolve the issue, “as a manifestation of goodwill” with the government of Vietnam. “We did say that we need to address the fact that we do have a fisheries law and that…there’s a legal process that we must observe if similar incidents are experienced by us in the future,” Del Rosario told reporters in a chance interview at Malacañang’s Reception Hall. Responding to the Philippines government’s stand on the issue, Del Rosario said Vietnam was “acquiesced to the fact that…we are governed by laws and maybe in the future this unregulated fishing will have to be reviewed…by both countries”.

Del Rosario cited President Aquino’s position that despite the generosity extended by the Philippine government to the fishermen of Vietnam, their poaching activities on Philippine waters cannot go on. “I think that was implied when he said that we need to take a good look at this because this unregulated fishing is really subjected to a legal process that we need to inject in future incidents,” Del Rosario said. (pcoo)

Aquino says synchronized ARMM elections will break cycle of impunity

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III expressed elation over the decision of the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of Republic Act 10153 or the law that synchronizes the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) election to the 2013 polls.

“We thank the Supreme Court for upholding our effort to break the cycle of impunity, corruption and poverty in the ARMM,” the President in a statement read by Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda in Malacanang on Tuesday.

“The Supreme Court decision gives us a great opportunity to correct these long-standing problems. It is an opportunity that we will not squander,” he added.

The President said his administration supported the bill that synchronizes the ARMM elections with national elections to stop the vicious cycle of abnormal elections being influenced by powerful political families.

If there is synchronized election, political dynasties couldn’t utilize command votes to subvert the national will, the President said.

Command voting has contributed to the cycle of impunity in the region, as demonstrated by the Maguindanao massacre, in which 57 people were allegedly killed by a local political family, he said.

The system also leads to massive corruption by public officials disabling the ability of the region to move out of poverty.

The President also promised to release P8.592 billion to ARMM for its transition and investment support plan, the President said adding that the measure is aimed at ensuring the long-term stability and equitable progress of the region.

At the same time, the President said that he will appoint officer in charge (OIC) in consultation with stakeholders putting people of integrity and competence in various positions in the ARMM.

The Palace said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has already come up with a list of ARMM officials and the President is expected to name them in the coming days.

“As we prepare to synchronize ARMM and national elections in 2013, our nation has taken another significant step into daylight. May all our leaders, at all levels and branches of government, continue to be bound by our common agenda of lasting and equitable progress for
the Filipino people,” the President said in his statement.

Aside from affirming the legality of Republic Act 10153, the SC also recognized the authority of the President to appoint officers in charge in the ARMM. (PCOO)

Aquino wants subsistence for fisher folks during hazardous weather conditions

President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to look into how the government can provide subsistence to fisher folk as a deterrent to fishing during extremely hazardous weather conditions. The President gave his directions to DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman during a briefing on the effects of typhoons Pedring and Quiel held at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in Camp Aguinaldo Sunday. “Can the DSWD study if the marginal fisher folk …if they will not be allowed to venture out (to fish), can we give them some subsistence for the days that are extremely hazardous?” the President asked, adding whether a mechanism could be determined and funds be made available for this purpose. The President has expressed concern over the country’s fishermen who, despite being warned in advance of an incoming weather disturbance, choose to take a chance and go out to earn their living. (PCOO)

Malacanang says result of Pulse Asia ‘Ulat ng Bayan’ survey exemplifies undying support and confidence of Filipinos to President Aquino’s leadership

MALACANANG cited the increasing trust and confidence of the Filipinos on the accountability, competence and efficiency of President Benigno S. Aquino III in pursuing his social contract with the people especially in his efforts in effecting reforms and curbing graft and corruption in the bureaucracy as indicated in the recent survey conducted by a recognized polls entity.

In his statement during a regular press briefing at the Palace on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the results of the Pulse Asia “Ulat ng Bayan” survey conducted from August 20 to September 2, 2011 exemplifies the undying support and
confidence of the people on the leadership of President Aquino.

“The recently-released Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey, in which President Aquino recorded significant increases in his approval (from 71 to 77 percentage points) and trust ratings (from 71 to 75 percentage points), is an affirmation that more than a year into the current administration, the people’s faith in their leadership has not wavered, and has in fact become stronger,” Lacierda said.

“The message is getting across to the vast majority of Filipinos: President Aquino’s ratings are proof that his efforts toward curbing corruption and reducing poverty are truly being felt by Filipinos across all geographic and demographic strata,” he added.

Lacierda noted that with these recent developments, the Aquino government is bent on continuing its efforts to exert more developmental actions that will further uplift the lives of the Filipino citizenry.

“It is expected that survey numbers will fluctuate, and while we in government appreciate this development, we continue to raise the bar higher for ourselves so that every aspect of the President’s Social Contract with the Filipino People will be fulfilled,” Lacierda stressed.

Pulse Asia recently released the results of their Presidential Performance and Trust Ratings survey conducted from August 20 to September 2, 2011 using face-to-face interviews.

The nationwide assessment is based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults, 18 years old and above. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level. sub-national estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level.

Pulse Asia, Inc. is a public opinion polling body launched by professional academics, recognized as experts in their respective fields of study. It monitors salient socio-economic, political and cultural issues in the minds of the Filipino public. (PCOO)