MANILA, APRIL 23, 2009
(STAR) By Jose Rodel Clapano - The government is pursuing peace with the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletariat Army-Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), a breakaway group of the New People’s Army, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino Razon Jr. said yesterday.

Razon said development projects have been carried out in various municipalities in the Visayas as part of the government’s commitment to implement provisions of the peace agreement forged with the RPMP-RPA-ABB in 2000.

He said the Kalayaan Barangays Program (KBP) was launched recently in Central Visayas and is expected to complete 23 infrastructure projects in 11 barangays in the Negros Oriental towns of Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Sibulan, Pamplona and Zamboanguita.

Razon said the “Halad sa Katawhan” (or offering to the people) was also conducted in Sta. Catalina town, including basic medical and dental services, and assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Health.

He said the infrastructure projects, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iloilo, included the construction of a classroom in Barangay Jawod, San Joaquin town and a day-care center in Barangay Casilayan, Tignauan.

“A water system project was also implemented in Barangay Tambad in Cauayan, Negros Occidental which is near completion. Preliminary activities for the UNDP-supported sustainable agriculture project in Sta. Catalina are also underway,” Razon said.

In addition to these development projects, he said the cessation of hostilities in RPMP-RPA-ABB areas “is holding.”

“Efforts to strengthen the local mechanisms of the Joint Enforcement Monitoring Committee, particularly the Local Technical Working Group on the Cessation of Hostilities, are continuously being undertaken,” he said.

PGMA to grace 28th Asian and Oceanian Stock Exchanges General Assembly in Cebu

(REPORT FROM MALACANANG) MACTAN ISLAND, Cebu – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will grace here on Thursday (April 23) the 28th general assembly of the Asian & Oceanian Stock Exchanges Federation (AOSEF).

The 19-member AOSEF, which was conceived as an organization to promote closer ties and cooperation among the region’s stock exchanges, is holding its four-day general assembly from April 22 to 25 at the Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa.

The AOSEF is composed of stock exchanges from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The President is expected to deliver a speech before some 80 top stock-exchange delegates from all over Asia and Oceania.

The delegates include executive officers and chief operating officers (CEOs) of AOSEF member-exchanges, members of the AOSEF secretariat, and observers from the World Federation Exchanges.

The President is scheduled to arrive shortly after noon at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) where she will be received by leading local and military officials.

Among those who will welcome the President at the airport are Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Arturo Radaza, Cebu Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz (6th district), and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) 7 and Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, and Presidential Assistant Felix Guanzon.

The reception party will escort the President to the AOSEF confab where she will be ushered to the main ballroom by the event organizers led by Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. Chairman Jose Vitug, PSE President-CEO Francisco Ed Lim, and AOSEF Working Committee Chairman Goban Arasu.

The supreme decision-making body of AOSEF, the general assembly meets annually at a pre-determined venue which is rotated among member- stock exchanges.

The chairmanship of the AOSEF also rotates among the hosts, passing from one host exchange to the next after the annual general assembly.

The Asia and Oceana stock exchanges added that its standing secretariat “has the responsibility of facilitating communications among member exchanges and the management of day-to-day AOSEF affairs.”

The AOSEF secretariat is currently provided by the Tokyo Stock Exchange where the AOSEF is headquartered.

The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) is the host/organizer of this year’s general assembly.

The PSE is “a private organization that provides and ensures a fair, efficient, transparent, and orderly market for buying and selling of securities.”

It traces its roots to the country’s two former bourses -- the Manila Stock Exchange (MSE) founded in 1927 and the Makati Stock Exchange (MkSE) which was established in 1963. The MSE and the MkSE merged into the PSE on Dec. 23, 1992.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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