Archive for the ‘Messages’ Category

Budget Priorities of the PRRD Administration by DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno

For FY 2017, the Duterte administration will propose to Congress P3.35 trillion budget. This is higher by 11.6 percent than the current year’s budget of P3.0 trillion. As a percentage of GDP, the 2017 budget represents 20.4 percent compared this year’s 20.1 percent of GDP. Despite the limited time to craft the budget, I made sure that the 2017 budget is Duterte’s budget. Since the new administration is all about getting the work done in the soonest possible time, let me go straight to our budget priorities: INFRASTRUCTURE Our first priority is public infrastructure – not only because it will result in the creation of more decent jobs, but also because it will propel the economy on a higher growth trajectory. For too long, public infrastructure has been neglected. As a result, the Philippine economy is lacking in all types of infrastructure—roads and bridges, ports and airports, railways and urban transit systems, irrigation systems and water systems. To address this, we will hike infrastructure spending from a low 5% to a high of 7% of GDP. Next year, we plan to spend close to P900 billion for public infrastructure. Specific infrastructure projects to be pursued by the Duterte government include small, medium and large-scale projects that will be done in all regions— both highly developed and lagging—simultaneously, not sequentially. The next six years will be The Golden Age of Philippine construction, both public and private. I estimate that from 2017 to 2022, public infrastructure spending would total P7 trillion pesos. SOCIAL SERVICES Our next priority is social services. This is to guarantee that our young would not just be a potential, but real, productive, competent and agile work force. The Duterte administration will prioritize education in its budget. With P700 billion or 20.9 percent of the total budget, we can expect the construction of nearly 37,500 classrooms for K to 10 and Senior High School, hire 53,831 additional teachers, support 293,333 TESDA enrolees, and increase the budget of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) from P49.7 billion in 2016 to P58.8 billion next year. We will also revisit the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, more popularly known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. The goal of the review is two-fold: first, to minimize the leakages – that is, giving benefits to the undeserving and not giving benefits to the deserving, and second, minimize the program’s administrative costs. At the same time, we will increase the government subsidy for health insurance premium payments for indigent families amounting to approximately P50B or a 15% increase over the 2016 budget. FISCAL REFORMS We will strive to improve the way we allocate and use public funds. First of all, I am putting a lot of time and effort in budget preparation. I know that underspending is largely due to poor budget preparation. The harsh truth is that it is not possible to implement well a poorly prepared budget. Many programs and projects which are not yet ready for implementation are included in the annual budget. Sadly, department heads ask for a budget that they are unable to implement: they bite more than what they can chew. We will try to avoid this practice. Second, the DBM has given an executive briefing on the budget process for secretaries and undersecretaries in charge of finance. This is so because underspending could also be due to the inexperience and ineptness of some department chiefs. Third, will make sure that the national budget is strictly compliant with the Supreme Court decisions on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Our goal is to have a Budget Reform Act that will address the abuses of the two previous Presidents in the exercise of the power to prepare and implement the government’s budget. Our goal is to restore the checks and balances of the three branches of government. One of the objectives of the Budget Reform Law is to make the budget and the financial transactions of the Government truly open. Some features of Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which has been be issued in an Executive Order, will be incorporated in the proposed Budget Reform Act. We should disabuse our mind thinking that openness is achieved by simply uploading in the web tons of information on the budget. That’s false transapency. Real transparency is when citizens could request relevant data from any government agency and the latter is obligated to provide them. In sum, Mr. Duterte’s 2017 budget, and his future budgets, will support his promise to improve the country’s poor public infrastructure; invest in human resources and develop the people, especially our5 youths, into a productive, competent and agile work force; modernize agriculture and transform rural communities; and develop lagging regions. I have given you a broad outline of what we propose to do in the next six years. As you can see, there’s an enormous task ahead of us in order to make real change in the life of an ordinary Filipino. We hope that you will become our partners in making true our promise of genuine change. Thank you!

Call for entries: Red Cross Award for Humanitarian Reporting 2013

Journalists covering humanitarian situations in the Philippines are invited to submit entries for the Red Cross Award for Humanitarian Reporting 2013.

Organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross and four other organizations, the award aims to recognize stories and images that provide excellent insight into and responsibly depict the consequences of armed conflict and armed violence on civilians.

Professional or freelance journalists or photojournalists working for print, online, radio and television outfits may send published or aired materials: news reports, features, documentaries or photographs.

Entries must highlight the humanitarian consequences of armed conflicts or other large-scale situations of violence for affected populations and how respect for humanitarian law is promoted.

Entries must be published or aired between May 1, 2012 and May 1, 2013. The deadline for submission of entries is on May 31, 2013.

Awardees will be given plaques, trophies, trainings on conflict reporting and news safety, gadgets and other freebies. Winners will be announced on International Humanitarian Law Day, August 12, 2013.

Contest partners include the International News Safety Institute (Asia-Pacific office), The Peace and Conflict Journalism Network, the Philippine Center for Photojournalism, and the Rotary Club of Manila.

For more information, please contact ICRC communication officer Allison Lopez at (02) 892-8901 to 04, e-mail, or visit

Excerpts from the Speech of Atty. Estelito Mendoza

Delivered on August 27, 2015: As of July 31, 2015, 96.34% of the total number of prisoners or 88,356 of total 91,712 in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) jails are either undergoing trial, awaiting trial or final judgment. But they are in jail. Under our Constitution," the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond reasonable doubt, and on that basis he is convicted by the court of a criminal offense and sentenced with the corresponding penalty, usually of imprisonment." As safeguards against the unwarranted issuance of a warrant of arrest, the Constitution requires that no "warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge..." Most likely, the huge number of prisoners who have not been convicted by final judgment is a consequence. of the person arrested and detained being unable to post bond, and the case against that person continues to be pending trial or judgment by the court..He is most likely without any property which may serve as a bond or is unable to pay the premium for a surety bond. He also uncovered that in Pampanga, about 3/4 of the inmates in he Provincial jail have been charged under the "Dangerous Drug Act." And they are not scions of rich people but tricycle drivers, farmers, construction workers, etc. The drug menace gnaws at the vitals of our nation. Should this state of affairs continue? How should we deal with this problem?

The Philippines: Vision Toward Sustained Rapid Growth

Date: 01.06.2011 Place: Manila Polo Club, MAIN LOUNGE, McKinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati Speaker: BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. Officers and members of the Rotary Club (RC) of Manila (led by your president, Gert Gust), RC of Chinatown Manila (led by your president, Rosie Lim), RC of Forbes Park (led by your president, Peter Kawsek, Jr.); Cong. Roilo Golez, special guests, ladies and gentlemen, happy New Year and good afternoon. It is always a pleasure to touch base with the Rotary Club. But this year, I am especially pleased to join your meeting because this year’s joint meeting is one among three RC chapters. If I recall correctly, last year it was the RCM and the RCFP together. This year, the RCCM is also participating in this joint meeting. I find speaking before the Rotarians during this time of the year, when we traditionally set our sights on the future, most worthwhile. Why do I say this? The RC has always been known for leadership and service in both public and private endeavors. I am certain you will also agree with me that Rotarians are distinguished, not only for your capacity and courage, but more importantly, your desire and drive to move our country forward and upward. It is my hope therefore that in the next few minutes as I share with you my thoughts on how I see our country’s economic and financial landscape going forward, I would succeed in encouraging you to an even stronger engagement and partnership as we sail through both the challenges and the opportunities that the unfolding operating environment offers. 2011 - A year of Promise Let me begin by saying, I firmly believe 2011 is a year that offers much promise for our country. When I was here last year, I spoke about the global economy being at the cusp of recovery. This time, numbers from the first semester of 2010 show that the worst effects of the global crisis are behind us. Domestically, I believe we have surpassed most expectations. Indeed, the Philippines has entered 2011 from a position of strength. Let me illustrate. . . Our economy sustained its dynamism and grew robustly in 2010—7.5 percent in the first three quarters—on the strength of solid macroeconomic fundamentals, timely and effective policy responses, and purposeful reforms. At this rate, our economy is poised to grow at a rate faster than the government’s target of 5.0 to 6.0 percent in 2010. Strong output growth was realized in a low inflation environment. Full year inflation averaged 3.8 percent in 2010, well within the government’s target range of 3.5 to 5.5 percent. The country’s external payments position continued to strengthen. We posted an unprecedented surplus of US$13.2 billion in the first 11 months of 2010—allowing for the healthy build-up of international reserves and helping ensure external debt sustainability. Both of these have strengthened our resilience against external shocks and consequently led to a credit rating upgrade for the country from Standard and Poor’s (S&P). This morning, Moody’s upgraded the Philippines’ credit rating outlook from stable to positive. Again, this is reflective of our strong external position.

Speech of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay

Rotary Club of Manila Manila Polo Club, January 20, 2011   Allow me to thank each of you for inviting me to be the guest of honor and speaker today. It is always a pleasure to be among leaders and among fellow Rotarians. Yes, I, too, am a member of the Rotary for those who may not know. The Rotary, with its principle of “Service above self” has always been a source of inspiration for me as a public servant. We as Rotarians have committed ourselves to serving our communities and our people, especially the underprivileged. But let us not stop with only our immediate surroundings. We must think bigger. We must reach out farther. Today, we are still reeling from various crises – some due to the utter mismanagement of our country by previous leaders and some due to factors of a global scale. But these crises, I believe, are surmountable and temporary. And I am glad that we have a citizenry that is optimistic and full of hope and ready to take action to improve the state of our country. You in the private sector have a big role to play. I am certain that the Rotary Club of Manila has taken its own steps to make the country progressive through your various programs for the community. As individuals, I know that you do your share in community building and nation building. We need these kinds of initiatives now. The President entrusted to me the chairmanship of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). He also appointed me as Presidential Adviser for OFWS’ Concerns. These are big responsibilities and I pledge to honor these new mandates given to me by promoting good governance. As I have said I will always support the initiatives of the Aquino administration to uplift the lives of Filipinos. And I urge you to join us in leading the Philippines to progress.

Speech of Solicitor General Joel Cadiz

“The Office of the Solicitor General and its present priorities”

Gert A. Gust President Benjamin Santos Immediate Past President Benjamin Diokno Vice-President Eusebio Tan Director-in-Charge, Program Committee Directors Executive Officers Members and Friends Let me first offer my sincerest thanks to the members of the Rotary Club of Manila for inviting me to speak before you today. Benevolence, Unity, Integrity, Leadership, Development, Service Above Self – I am sure that in the many years you have convened in these luncheons, you have been used to hearing these values echoed time and again, as a reminder of the cause this organization stands for. Today, I’ve been given the opportunity to share with you matters relating to the Office of the Solicitor General and its present priorities. It is my hope that as this speech unfolds, you will begin to become familiar with the OSG and understand its natural affinity towards the Rotary Club of Manila. The OSG’s mandate as the law firm of the Republic of the Philippines is primarily to represent the Filipino people and the Philippine Government in any litigation. Thus, the OSG is called “The People’s Tribune”. We appear before the Supreme Court to defend the interests of the state in high-profile cases. As you may all well know too, in the past few days, the case against Major General Garcia has put the OSG in the limelight. We have been called upon by our President to intervene at what is considered an unjust and malicious agreement that ensured the release of a man accused of stealing state funds for his own benefit. The present administration strongly reiterates its position that no man should ever be immune from the law. Whether he’s a former Major General, or a common fisherman, the rule of law must always prevail. We stand by our argument that the plea bargaining agreement between Garcia and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) should be nullified for being illegal and disadvantageous to the state. First, the consent of the offended party which is the AFP was not obtained when the plea bargaining agreement was approved. Second, the existence of guilt is strong. This is why the Sandiganbayan denied the first Petition for bail of Garcia on January 07, 2010. Finally, the crime of direct bribery to which Garcia pleaded to is not necessarily included in the crime of plunder. We have argued the same before the Sandiganbayan a few weeks ago and we stand by our defense in the firm belief that justice is on our side.

Inaugural Speech of President Banit Caasi

Together for Mankind: Our Common Journey To A Fulfilled Vision

By UrbanoCaasi Jr., cuap, csp

Changemaker President, RY 2011- 2012

Rotary Club of Manila

  Thank you for your kind introduction, Past District Governor Frankie Roman. And, thank you, again, for having nominated me for this most challenging, and honorable position of President of this Rotary Club, the first in Asia. Our Guest of Honor and Inducting Officer, The Honorable Reynato S. Puno, Chief Justice (Retired) of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and to all Masons, the Most Worshipful Past Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons in the Grand Jurisdiction of the Philippines; The Honorable Jejomar Binay, Vice President of the Philippines and the best Mayor of  the City of Makati; The Honorable Alfredo Lim, Mayor of the City of Manila, a dedicated member and benefactor of this Club; Past Rotary International Director Rafael Hechanova, a pillar of Rotary; District Governor Ernie Choa and his lovely Lady, the officers of Rotary International District 3810, and my fellow Changemaker Presidents - and not the least, my loving wife, Ting. I wish you all a pleasant evening! To this special occasion, our Club’s 92nd Induction and Inaugural Night, I welcome all of you, our friends and guests from other civic or service associations, from the business and government sectors,  my fellow Rotarians, my colleagues, acquaintances and specially the rest  of my family who are seated around that there table. Let me first introduce my daughter Betty Ann C. Martinez and her three siblings – Luigi, Bea and Nicholo, and Leny Feliciano the then constant companion of my son Bernie, who was Past President of the RC of Santa Mesa Manila. Again, to one and all, welcome! The Manila Rotary Club has been around for almost a century and is known to be the oldest and then the largest in Asia. That explains why those who served in its high offices before me were among the most esteemed civic and business leaders in the country up until today. Considering their professional expertise and long years of immersion in civic leadership their track record is definitely a tough act to follow. That is true in the case of my immediate predecessor, brother Rotarian Gert Gust, who has spent the best years of his life leading us in a journey to the fulfillment of our common vision. May I therefore, express my deep appreciation and thanks to him for his leadership and all his brilliant contributions to our common pursuits. Unfortunately, he cannot be here tonight due to a lingering illness. He is now at home after being confined at the Makati Medical Center, and my hope is that he will recover speedily and be up and about the soonest time possible.  
  1. In Praise of Our Great Leaders
  In fact, our club has been blessed with more than a handful of good leaders, prominent members and a long array of professional competencies in every area of civic endeavors. This is not to mention the logistical and financial resources that come from the hands of our generous members. In its pioneering years the Rotary Club of Manila pursued such major projects as the establishment of the Community Chest which for many decades provided funding for legitimate community projects. The Club has many other humanitarian projects, which we have written in our Souvenir Program for tonight’s affair. We aim to pursue more of the same and God-willing initiate new programs that are similarly envisioned to help other needy communities around us. It is for the same reason that I deem it important for our club to begin thinking about establishing its permanent home. Over the last many years our club has been renting space in Ermita, Manila for our office. Only recently we built our office on a lot of the City of Manila, courtesy of our very own Mayor Alfredo Lim. Hence, in behalf of our Club let me extend to him our thanks and appreciation for it. I believe it is about time we build our physical plant on our own lot and give our club the symbol of dignity and personality it deserves. If we start now, we still have ample time to do it and have our own building blessed and inaugurated during our forthcoming centenary in 2019. Eight years from now, the Rotary Club of Manila will be 100 years old.  It is not too early to plan for the observance of its centennial anniversary in 2019, which could possibly bring to the Philippines the Rotary International Convention.  Our Centenary Committee chaired by Past District Governor Vince Carlos has been studying that possibility. Let’s all give him the support he needs to realize this dream.  
  1. Recognizing Filipino Genius at Its Best
Of course, we are not just concerned with civic and charity projects. We are also into giving honor and due recognition to servant leaders in our country who excel in their respective areas of professional engagements.  Only recently, for example, our club through its Journalism Awards Committee chaired by Rtn Past President Rod Reyes, proudly gave honor and awards to a group of multi-media practitioners for their great contributions to the field of broadcast and literary journalism, highlighting freedom of speech and the press in our country. It was our way of bestowing appreciation and due recognition to outstanding individuals who have proven themselves worthy of emulation by many others in that same area of endeavor. In like manner for employees in the private sector worthy to be role models in their respective areas of work, we have (The Outstanding Workers and Employees of the Republic) or Tower Awards, and to help develop our country’s tourism and travel industry our Tourism Awards. This year I would like to take the lead in instituting a new flagship project—the National Award on the Most Beneficial Scientific Invention or Discovery, which addresses in substantial ways the legitimate and urgent needs of our time. I believe the practitioners of scientific research/ in this country are under obligation to come up with clear proposals or inventions that may lead to the solution of our most pressing problems, say, in environment, energy,  food production  and technology, and others.  One of the very first acts of my administration is the creation of a search committee  that would formulate  the criteria/ for screening and judging  the deserving awardee.  I  invite you  to look  at our backdrop  at the back  of  the headtable as we unveil  our logo for the Scientific Inventions and Discoveries Awards or SIDA to launch the Project !!  (The curtain at the right end of the backdrop is drawn open)