EFREN DANAO: UNDERSTANDING PALACE'S STANCE WHILE PEOPLE SUFFER

I fully understand why President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, refuses to meet protesting victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” who trooped to Malacanang last Monday. The victims could bellyache for all he cares, because he has already done everything that he can do, and he just can’t please everybody. The administration has already given victims substandard temporary shelters but they’re definitely hard to please. As one official noted, the shelters may be substandard but they’re definitely better than the tents they’d been staying in. Give them less than habitable shelters and they’ll be shouting for better ones. How ungrateful, unappreciative could these victims be? The Aquino administration has already distributed some of the financial and food aid donated by foreign governments and private donors and the domestic private sector so why are the victims still complaining? The government is so transparent on the aid it has received that it even itemized this on-line. Now, those hard-to-please victims are asking how the foreign aid and government funds for relief and rehabilitation were spent or distributed. The nerve! Understandably, the administration is ignoring them.

ALSO: PNoy intercedes in Metro traffic

ALARMED by the growing public discontent over the traffic gridlock caused by the construction of two major road projects in Metro Manila, President Benigno Aquino 3rd summoned members of his Cabinet on Friday to come up with effective ways to ease vehicle flow in the affected areas. According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Aquino directed the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to “fine-tune” measures that would ease the flow of traffic.

ALSO: Ping hit for ‘red tagging’

‘Smear may lead to witch hunt among storm victims’ THE leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan slammed rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson Friday for accusing the communists of using survivors of super typhoon Yolanda as pawns to destabilize the government. “Shame on Secretary Lacson for resorting to red-tagging just to cover up the government’s incompetence in addressing the needs of Yolanda victims,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said. “By calling the victims communist pawns and by calling Bayan a communist front, he’s inciting the Armed Forces of the Philippines to commit rights violations against the victims,” the Bayan official said. “It seems that the government’s eventual response to the demands [of the survivors] will be repression.”

ALSO: Working day, no classes for EDSA anniversary

Tomorrow is a regular working day for the public and private sectors, but schools nationwide will have no classes, Malacañang said yesterday. Speaking over state-run dzRB radio, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said under Proclamation 655 Series of 2013 issued by President Aquino, the EDSA People Power Revolution Day is only a school holiday. “This simply means that there will be no classes in all levels, but this will be a regular working day,” he said. Last week, Coloma said that this year’s 28th EDSA anniversary will be celebrated in the Visayas, where Aquino will spend time with victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Aquino transferred the celebrations from Manila to Cebu so he can revisit the areas affected by recent natural calamities before he leaves for his official visit to Malaysia on Feb. 27-28, he added.


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT

Understanding Palace’s stance while people suffer


Efren Danao

MANILA, FEBRUARY 24, 2014 (MANILA TIMES) by EFREN L. DANAO, INSIDE CONGRESS - I fully understand why President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, refuses to meet protesting victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” who trooped to Malacanang last Monday. The victims could bellyache for all he cares, because he has already done everything that he can do, and he just can’t please everybody.

The administration has already given victims substandard temporary shelters but they’re definitely hard to please. As one official noted, the shelters may be substandard but they’re definitely better than the tents they’d been staying in. Give them less than habitable shelters and they’ll be shouting for better ones.

How ungrateful, unappreciative could these victims be?

The Aquino administration has already distributed some of the financial and food aid donated by foreign governments and private donors and the domestic private sector so why are the victims still complaining?

The government is so transparent on the aid it has received that it even itemized this on-line. Now, those hard-to-please victims are asking how the foreign aid and government funds for relief and rehabilitation were spent or distributed. The nerve! Understandably, the administration is ignoring them.

So what if corned beef and luncheon meat got replaced with sardines in the repacking? So what if all donated food from abroad were segregated at the Rizal Memorial and made off-limits to media? The amount and goods received had already been itemized.

That should suffice; there should no longer be any accounting of how they’re distributed to stores, I mean to officials, I mean to – never mind.

The administration is simply asking people to have faith in its honesty thru its “tuwid na daan.” Is this too much to ask?

Foreign donations were included in the accomplishment report of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in a show of transparency.

Now, some fault-finders are questioning why the DSWD was claiming foreign donations as if they came from the national government.

Don’t they know that DSWD and the administration are against epal on others? That should please everybody but doesn’t because some want this anti-epal campaign to cover the DSWD and the administration also.

What makes the protests incomprehensible is that the victims are supposed to be satisfied with how BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, actually responded to “Yolanda.”

Didn’t they read or hear of the results of a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations?

This and every result favorable to the president is considered “ex cathedra” by the yellows. Why can’t the victims accept it also?

Now, other hard-to-please people are furious over the Metro Manila traffic gridlock that’s expected to get worse.

These critics who’ve made denigration of the administration an “industry” couldn’t even appreciate the surfeit of major public works projects being undertaken in the last two minutes of the president.

Communications Sec. Herminio Coloma has asked commuters and motorists to “share in the burden of sacrifice and bear the short-term inconvenience.”

This shows that Malacañang really cares for them. What’s more Malacañang has shown its trust and confidence in the motoring public’s sense of direction by not putting up signs telling them where they should go to ease the traffic.

Former Public Works Secretary Ping de Jesus showed such distrust of the motorists by putting up signs in strategic places to guide them during the construction of the Ortigas flyover. No wonder, Benigno Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, found no need for the further services of Secretary Ping de Jesus.

It’s also no wonder why the administration has harnessed the services of former Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla as energy secretary. It needs somebody who works as hard as the President (10am to 5pm except holidays) and with equal dedication to the work at hand.

This is why I can’t understand why critics could still fault Petilla for not knowing that he could harness the Malaya plant to mitigate hikes in power rates. What else do they expect from a member of a student council government?

Then, there are those who chide Petilla for blaming the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), among other entities, for the record power rate increase last December. Please don’t be too hard on him.

This newest member of the Cabinet may have forgotten that he’s vice chairman of PSALM (the chairman is Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima) so blame it on his “junior moments.”

Now, if the public still couldn’t appreciate what the administration has been doing to make them suffer, I mean to make their lives bitter, I mean better, then they shouldn’t be surprised if Malacañang reiterates its loving and caring words for those who complain a lot: Buhay pa kayo, di ba?

PNoy intercedes in Metro traffic February 21, 2014 11:01 pm by Joel M. Sy Egco Senior Reporter


Brian Galagnara, president of The Red Advocates, said the traffic problem has a greater negative economic impact than corruption.One of the immediate solutions is to start with respect. “We know that we have too many cars and not enough roads, but what makes thing worse is our lack of discipline on the roads, a lack of respect for each other,” he said. On top of this, there is a need “to instill the discipline through effective traffic enforcement, he said. In one study, Galagnara said, the top four congestion-causing behaviors that exacerbate traffic are: public utility vehicle behavior; turn-lane behavior; intersection behavior; and pedestrian behavior. In another study, the top five traffic violations by Filipino motorists are: Beating the red light; violation of no U-turn rules; violation of no loading and unloading rules; speeding; and violation of one-way rules. FROM MANILA DAILY BULLETIN-Metro Manila traffic costs P140B a year December 13, 2013 (updated)

ALARMED by the growing public discontent over the traffic gridlock caused by the construction of two major road projects in Metro Manila, President Benigno Aquino 3rd (photo) summoned members of his Cabinet on Friday to come up with effective ways to ease vehicle flow in the affected areas.

According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Aquino directed the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to “fine-tune” measures that would ease the flow of traffic.

“In a meeting this morning, the president directed the secretaries of DPWH, DOTC and DILG, and the chairman of MMDA to fine-tune mitigation and remedial measures designed to minimize the citizens’ inconvenience, in coordination with DepEd [Department of Education], CHED [Commission on Higher Education], DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment] and DTI [Department of Trade and Industry],” the Palace official told a press briefing.

During the meeting, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino reported that traffic volume along South Super Highway has been reduced by more than seven percent from 131,000 to 122,000 vehicles daily since the start of construction Monday evening. This shows that affected motorists have begun using alternate routes adjacent to the construction area, Tolentino said.

“According to a JICA [Japan International Cooperation Agency] study cited by Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, the Philippines is losing more than P2 billion daily in potential income and foregone productivity due to severe traffic congestion in the metropolis,” Coloma said.

“This is why the government has prioritized two major infrastructure projects, namely the Skyway Stage III project and the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road. When completed, travel time from NLEX to SLEX will be reduced drastically from an average of two hours to less than 30 minutes,” he pointed out.

Coloma said the benefits from the completion of these road networks will far exceed the inconveniences the people are facing now.

“These projects will bring about an improved quality of life due to ease of travel across Metro Manila that will benefit the citizens, communities, businesses and industries in the Calabarzon (Region IV-A), National Capital Region and Central Luzon, an area that presently contributes about 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product,” he emphasized.

TRAFFIC IN MANILA: PEOPLE CAUSING TRAFFIC.

FROM http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=401948&page=22

FROM MANILA STANDARD

Ping hit for ‘red tagging’ By Joyce Pangco Panares | Feb. 22, 2014 at 12:01am

‘Smear may lead to witch hunt among storm victims’

THE leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan slammed rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson Friday for accusing the communists of using survivors of super typhoon Yolanda as pawns to destabilize the government.

“Shame on Secretary Lacson for resorting to red-tagging just to cover up the government’s incompetence in addressing the needs of Yolanda victims,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said.


Compassionate indignation. Youth activitists pelt an effigy of President Benigno Aquiino with tomatoes after
he scolded typhoon victims for coming to Manila to complain instead of attending to their livelihood. SONNY ESPIRITU

Reyes said Lacson’s statement gave state security forces blanket authority to conduct a witch hunt among the calamity victims.

“By calling the victims communist pawns and by calling Bayan a communist front, he’s inciting the Armed Forces of the Philippines to commit rights violations against the victims,” the Bayan official said. “It seems that the government’s eventual response to the demands [of the survivors] will be repression.”

Efleda Bautista, executive vice chairperson of People Surge, an alliance of Yolanda survivors, denied Lacson’s charges and said his red-bating tactic only showed that the administration of President Benigno Aquino III had no one capable in charge of rebuilding the storm devastated areas, and that its reconstruction plan itself was bogus.

“It was not the Yolanda survivors who were destabilizing the country but the Aquino government itself,” Bautista said. “Lacson’s smearing of the Yolanda survivors is rubbing salt into our wounds and should not be dignified with a response.”

Instead of responding promptly to the complaints of the slow pace of rehabilitation efforts in the storm-battered areas, Lacson was engaging in a smear campaign, she said, urging the President to sack his rehabilitation czar.

“Moreover, it is not Bayan or People Surge alone that has criticized the Aquino government response to Yolanda, but also the international community including the United Nations, because everyone is interested that the administration get its act together in the common goal of helping the survivors.”

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan also tore into Lacson.

“They are victims seeking help because the national government has failed to address their problems . They are desperate. Now they are accused as [communist] pawns?!” Ilagan said. “Don’t they have their own minds? Their spokesperson is a nun!” Ilagan said, referring to Sister Edita Eslopor, the convenor of People Surge.

Ilagan added the Yolanda victims and survivors do not deserve the harsh treatment from the Aquino government.

She also slammed Lacson for resorting to scare tactics against the Yolanda victims.

“How typical of a former military man like Lacson to use the scare tactics to justify their incompetence and lack of compassion,” she said.

Lacson said Thursday that People Surge was being used by the communists to destabilize the government.

“It is becoming obvious that their agenda is destabilization and not the welfare of the Yolanda survivors,” Lacson said. “Based on intelligence reports, the super typhoon also affected the cadre infrastructure of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas. So they are now using the survivors to rebuild their network.”

Lacson identified Bayan, which he described as a “legal front” of the Communist Party of the Philippines, as among those steering the propaganda campaign of People Surge.

“If we did not know that Bayan is supporting the group, we can say that they are making these calls out of their bleeding hearts. But why are they suddenly calling for the President to step down? That sounds like destabilization to me,” he said.

But Bautista said there was nothing wrong in accepting Bayan’s help.

“It is unseemly for the Aquino government to question the motives of Bayan and its associates in helping the Yolanda survivors, when the support of everyone willing to help in a time of humanitarian crisis is welcome,” she said.

Bautista earlier challenged President Benigno Aquino III to step down if he insists on ignoring the demands of the calamity victims for P40,000 in financial assistance per family.

“If the President cannot address the crisis caused by Yolanda as well as other issues of real concern to the people, his capability to govern is already under question. The petition signed by 17,000 Yolanda survivors was a polite reminder to the government of its shortcomings, but President Aquino virtually tore it up and laughed in the faces of the typhoon survivors. We do not deserve this, and we think the rest of the Filipino people agree with us,” Bautista said.

“Noynoy Aquino does not care about the Yolanda survivors, he does not care about what the Filipino people think of his callousness, and does not care that millions in Eastern Visayas are now entering a period of unparalleled hunger and desperation. He is more calamitous than typhoons Pablo, Ondoy and Yolanda as well as the Bohol earthquake...We believe now the Filipino people have suffered long enough and it is time to save ourselves from the disastrous President Aquino,” she added.

Aside from the cash demand, People Surge also asked the government to recall its no-build zone policy to allow survivors.

“The people have absolutely nothing and all the President is giving them is hot air. If the life of the poor is too difficult for him to imagine that he won’t lift a finger, we suggest he try living in a

tent or a bunkhouse, and eating porridge every day for the rest of the year like many Yolanda survivors still do,” she said.

“Eastern Visayas has been left in a state of socio-economic ruin. The major cash and staple crops are devastated. The people lost homes and livelihood and face looming starvation. But the government reconstruction plan is not addressing basic problems,” Bautista said.

She noted that agricultural losses in the region alone amounted to P65 billion, but the government’s reconstruction program set aside only P18.7 billion for all affected areas. With Maricel V. Cruz, Ronald O. Reyes and Rio N. Araja

FROM PHILSTAR

Working day, no classes for EDSA anniversary By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 24, 2014 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Tomorrow is a regular working day for the public and private sectors, but schools nationwide will have no classes, Malacañang said yesterday.

Speaking over state-run dzRB radio, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said under Proclamation 655 Series of 2013 issued by President Aquino, the EDSA People Power Revolution Day is only a school holiday.

“This simply means that there will be no classes in all levels, but this will be a regular working day,” he said.

Last week, Coloma said that this year’s 28th EDSA anniversary will be celebrated in the Visayas, where Aquino will spend time with victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Aquino transferred the celebrations from Manila to Cebu so he can revisit the areas affected by recent natural calamities before he leaves for his official visit to Malaysia on Feb. 27-28, he added.

Coloma stressed the importance of the theme of celebration – Kapit-Bisig Tungo sa Pagbangon.

“The President said it was important to rally the people in the calamity-affected areas to rekindle the spirit of EDSA People Power in building back better communities,” he said.

“Hence, the original plan to hold the commemorative events in Malacañang was shelved. The traditional Salubungan or commemoration of the meeting between the civilian and military participants of EDSA People Power will be held on Tuesday morning at the Cebu provincial capitol grounds.” Coloma said Cebu was chosen as venue because the province was the bulwark of the opposition to the dictatorship during the martial law regime.

“It was in Cebu City where Mrs. Corazon Aquino was staying when the military broke ranks from President Marcos on Feb. 22, 1986,” he said.

Aquino will meet today the survivors of Typhoon Pablo and of rains spawned by the low pressure area in Cateel, Davao Oriental.

He is expected to arrive at Davao International Airport at around 9:30 a.m. today.

He will then fly by helicopter to the coastal town of Cateel, one of the hardest-hit municipalities when Pablo and the LPA struck recently.

Aquino will hold a “Pulong Bayan sa Cateel” immediately upon his arrival. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. will present to him beneficiaries of the hot chili plantation and rice production projects undertaken as part of recovery efforts for residents of Cateel and the adjacent towns in Davao Oriental.

A farmer benefiting from the rehabilitation of Lumao bridge will be presented to Aquino in today’s Pulong Bayan sa Cateel.

Aquino will inspect the various recovery projects undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after the onslaught of Pablo and the low pressure area last December.

Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon said everything has been put in place for the visit of Aquino.

She will present to Aquino the different efforts of the provincial government for the rehabilitation of monsoon-affected areas.

Aquino will start off this year’s anniversary with an inspection of the different recovery projects for the benefit of the victims of Pablo.

He will start his tour at Baganga, Davao Oriental for the inspection of the repaired Manurigao bridge.

This project of the DPWH will enable goods and services to be easily accessible to the hard-hit towns of Pablo. This would also enable the provincial government to carry out more development plans for the fast recovery of the three towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga.

From there, Aquino will inspect rice granaries and palay farmlands that were assisted by the Department of Agriculture. In particular, Aquino will visit “Hot Pablo” chili farms soon to export chili products overseas. Aquino will also spend a few minutes in a program where he will have a dialogue with farmers who have exhibited extraordinary resiliency in the aftermath of typhoons.

Pulong Bayan at Loon

From Cateel, Aquino will fly to Loon, Bohol to have a pulong bayan (town hall meeting) with representatives comprised of the survivors and volunteers of the recent calamities the country has faced such as the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda.

Participants are invited to a dialogue with Aquino by sharing their stories, especially the manifestation of People Power to overcome trying times.

Aquino will also inspect a newly constructed government hospital at the site before the town hall meeting.

Wreath-laying ceremony

To contextualize the EDSA Revolution as the culmination of a nation’s quest for freedom and to honor all heroes who fought for the same, a wreath- laying ceremony will be held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig this morning. Former President Fidel Ramos will be invited to lead the activities.– With Edith Regalado


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2013 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE