Straight From The Palace

Summary of class suspension on July 27 (as of 9PM July 26)

Editor’s note: We republished this press release in full.

NCR – All classes in Preschool, Elementary, and HS (public and private) will be suspended in the entire region (Per Regional Director Elena Ruiz).


Reg 1 – Automatic suspension will be based on the 10pm PAGASA Bulletin tonight (Per Regional Director Ligaya Miguel).


Reg 2 – Due to Public Storm Signal No. 1, all classes in Preschool (public and private) will be automatically suspended in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino (Per Regional Director Benito Tumamao).


CAR – Due to Public Storm Signal No. 1, all classes in Preschool (public and private) will be automatically suspended in Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mt. Province, and Benguet (Per OIC-Regional Director Teresita Velasco).


Reg 3 – All classes in Preschool, Elementary, and HS (public and private) will be suspended in the entire region: Bataan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Aurora (Per Regional Director Teofila Villanueva)


Reg 4A – All classes in Preschool, Elementary, and HS (public and private) will be suspended in the entire region: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (Per Regional Director Lorna Dino).


Reg 4B

·        Classes in Preschool and Elementary will be suspended in Occidental Mindoro (Per Regional Director Sinforosa Guiñares)

·        Due to Public Storm Signal No. 1, all classes in Preschool (public and private) will be automatically suspended in Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, and Romblon. (based on 5PM, July 26 PAGASA Bulletin)

Reg 5 – Automatic suspension will be based on the 4AM, July 27 PAGASA Bulletin and depending on the local situation, local authorities (LGUs, DepEd local officials, and school heads) may declare cancellation of classes in their respective areas.

President Aquino submits 1.816T results-focused 2012 budget to Congress

The proposed budget is higher by 10.4 percent or P171 billion over the current year’s P1.645-trillion National Budget, and represents 16.5 percent of the projected gross domestic product (GDP). It is based on a conservative growth assumption of 5.5 percent, even as the administration continues to strive for 7 to 8 percent growth. Read more

14.9% hike in rice production seen in 1st semester

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) revealed the country’s first semester palay production is forecast to post a 14.9 percent increase compared to that of last year.

Dante Delima, national rice program coordinator of the Department of Agriculture, citing BAS figures in a report to Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, voiced optimism that the country can achieve a production of 9.86 million metric tons for the ongoing wet season to be able to attain the target of 17.46 MMT for the year.

The rice production forecast from January to June is pegged at around 7.6 MMT, statistics from the BAS revealed

“We expect peak of planting starting June and July, which is almost 63 percent of the total 2011 wet season target planting,” Delima said

The rice production survey will be on the first week of July, and estimates or actual production figures for the January to June 2011 period will be available on or before August 15, Delima clarified

Meanwhile, as of June 10, 2011, the implementation of the upland rice development program in Regions 11 and 13 has benefited a total of 1,247 farmers from the 72,254.50 kilograms of seeds that were distributed by the DA.

Some 103,381.75 kilograms of the distributed seeds are expected to be repaid, of which 11,236 kilograms have already been collected.

For seed production, a total of 14,538 hectares have been planted, of which 13,390 hectares were planted with registered seeds, 1,135 hectares with foundation seeds, and 13.30 hectares with breeder seeds.

Region III has registered the highest number of seeds produced, at 3,963 hectares; followed by Region II with 2,393 hectares, the BAS figures revealed.

To ensure that rice program interventions reach the intended beneficiaries, a partnership mechanism is being put into place to integrate and involve farmer-beneficiaries through strengthened Irrigators’ Associations (IA’s) in all of the country’s 16 regions, Alcala revealed earlier.

The program will instill to farmer-beneficiaries project ownership and accountability. They are involved in planning and decision-making, thus consultations, consensual negotiations, and transparent communications in the different cluster levels are key to program implementation, Alcala said.

A series of consultations with different IA’s have also been held for five different clusters in Nueva Ecija, Quezon City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Southern Mindanao.

These consultation-workshops with IA’s were attended by Federation and IA Presidents of the regions, government attached agencies such as National Irrigation Association (NIA), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PHILRICE), Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) and representatives from Regional Field Units (RFUs) and Provincial and Municipal Government Units.

Meanwhile, other strategies to achieve rice sufficiency targets include:

  • community-based seed bank and buffer stocking, where farmers are encouraged to use high quality seeds and ensure its availability and accessibility at the right time within the community;
  • rehabilitation of NFA drying facilities to improve palay drying services especially during the wet season. More than P100 million is expected to be provided to NFA for this purpose.
  • production of other staple crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, and white corn which shall serve as alternatives to rice in non-rice eating regions of the country.

Read original post at the Official Gazette


P21.2B Conditional Cash Transfer program way ahead of schedule

A May 27, 2011 press release by the Department of Social Welfare and Development

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (or the 4Ps) is ahead of schedule in reaching their target of giving conditional cash transfers to 2.3 million poor families.

In a May 24 report sent to President Aquino, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman cited that the program has already registered 1,910,446 household beneficiaries out of a targeted 2,339,241 for 2011—a staggering 81.7 percent of the target less than six months into the calendar year. The remaining 428,795 families are expected be registered by the end of June 2011, meaning the DSWD will have the rest of the year to continue and to complete distribution of cash transfers to the registered beneficiaries.

“This is the fruition of our efforts to make certain the economic gains we have made are distributed equitably to our people,” Soliman said. “This is part of the government’s holistic approach to ensure that growth is felt by the people, especially those who have been historically marginalized.”

The Pantawid Pamilya program has also allowed the DSWD to give jobs to 4,155 Filipinos for its implementation. They were able to complete training for 2,181 of the program staff, partners, and parent leaders within the first four months of 2011, and have already established Provincial Advisory Committees in all provinces, enjoining the assistance of 123 members from 125 partner Civil Society Organizations nationwide.

Secretary Soliman said that the DSWD wants to build on this success by working even harder to reach and exceed their targets in line with the Aquino administration’s goal of poverty alleviation.

Read original post HERE

Statement of the Spokesperson on Rep. Lagman’s erroneous interpretation of the 2010 Global Integrity Report, May 5, 2011

Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:

“Global Integrity 2010 report writes finis to Arroyo administration’s dismal anti-corruption record”

[Released on May 5, 2011]

Rep. Edcel Lagman has a knack for shooting himself in the foot. He could have checked his facts and looked at the methodology of the most recent Global Integrity Report. He would have realized that the survey unmasked the lack of accomplishment of the Arroyo administration in fighting graft and corruption.

What did Global Integrity actually do, and what was the basis of its 2011 report? A review of their website categorically states the following: “From August 2010 to March 2011, Global Integrity conducted field research (assessing the period June 2009 to June 2010) in 36 countries,” including the Philippines.

When Rep. Lagman said the report “unmasked” as “lacking in substance and performance… the high-profile campaign on ‘good governance and less corruption,’” he was actually issuing an indictment of the former President he so slavishly serves. The field research and assessment Lagman pointed out as suggesting the future will be “an empty page for dearth of heartwarming stories or a perjured page of conjured ‘good news,’” he was actually summarizing the reasons his political principal and her works were rejected by the Filipino people.

The month of May is Anti-Graft and Corruption Awareness Month, proclaimed as such by former President Arroyo. It is appropriate that the gap between rhetoric and reality on the part of the former administration should be so graphically exposed:  by the slipshod manner in which Rep. Lagman tried to make political hay of what is actually a damning indictment of the previous dispensation.

Statement of President Aquino on the death of Osama bin Laden, May 2, 2011



His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III

President of the Philippines

On the death of Osama bin Laden

[May 2, 2011]

The death of Osama bin Laden marks a signal defeat for the forces of extremism and terrorism. It represents the end of the efforts of one man to stoke the fires of sectarian hatred and to promote terrorism on a scale unprecedented in the history of mass murder. Let us not forget that this is not just an achievement for the United States. It has brought justice to over a dozen Filipinos who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center.

The death of Osama bin Laden should not lull us into complacency. The world must continue to consistently and courageously raise its collective voice against religious hatred, political intolerance, and terrorism of all kinds. We must remain vigilant and united in pursuing peace, pluralism, and collective efforts at security.

One sword has been beaten down; we must continue to be dedicated to the principle of beating the swords of terrorism into the plowshares of progress and peace.

Together with my national security team, we continue to take all relevant precautions and steps to ensure the safety of our people. We, as a democratic and free people, remain committed to fighting terrorism and are in solidarity with the peoples of the United Nations.

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Read original post at the Official Gazette


Statement of President Aquino on the resignation of Ombudsman Gutierrez



His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III

President of the Philippines

On the resignation of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez

[Delivered on April 29, 2011]

This morning, Merceditas Gutierrez personally submitted to me her resignation as our country’s Ombudsman, effective May 6.

Her action has spared the country from a long and divisive impeachment process that would have distracted our lawmakers from dealing with the many problems we face today.

It also paves the way for the appointment of a new Ombudsman.

I thank the House of Representatives. I now urge the Judicial and Bar Council to begin the search for a new Ombudsman. With the support of the public, we can now proceed more decisively in making government officials more accountable to their bosses, the Filipino people.

Thank you.

Read original post at Official Gazette


DOE Steps Up Government Energy Management Program

DOE Logo

(Taguig City) In relation to a pronouncement by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. urging government agencies to put in place conservation measures, the Department of Energy (DOE), through its Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), will intensify efforts in reducing energy consumption. Administrative Orders (AOs) 110 and 110-A issued in the past, institutionalized the GEMP, which aims to reduce the monthly electricity and fuel consumption by at least 10%. in all Government Departments, Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), State Colleges and Universities, Hospitals and other instrumentalities of the government except for constitutional bodies including the judiciary and legislative bodies.

The current global energy situation makes it more imperative for government to lead in managing energy use to demonstrate its commitment to effect significant reduction in energy expenditures. The GEMP, from 2005 to 2010, has already effected savings of Php 1.4 billion in electricity and Php 239 million in transport fuel. The DOE has also conducted spot checks in 719 government facilities and certificates of energy/monetary savings have been issued to 62 government agencies.

This year, the DOE steps up its plan to go online for the submission of government agencies’ monthly energy consumption reports. In addition to GEMP, government agencies are also being reminded of the other AOs (nos. 103, 126, and 183), which have been issued in the past that highlighted conservation measures. AO 103 directs the continued adoption of austerity measures in the government, particularly “consumption of fuel, water, office supplies, electricity and utilities.” AO 183 also authorizes the installation and use of energy efficient lights and fixtures.

Memorandum Order No. 8 established the Energy Audit Team headed by Atty. Herminio M. Alcasid, Sr. of the Philippine National Oil Company- Development Management Corporation (PNOC-DMC) with DOE Undersecretary Loreta G. Ayson sitting in as a member. The Energy Audit Team is assisted by the DOE through its Energy Utilization Management Bureau, Energy Research and Testing Laboratory Services, Information Technology and Management Services, and Energy Policy and Planning Bureau.

“The GEMP and other parallel energy conservation measures in the government will become important as we are facing times where our supply is threatened. It is important to bear in mind that the measures we can actually do need not be done in one fell swoop but it can be done by an individual. These solutions, if done by everyone, can be a big help,” the Energy Department said with regard to the program.

Media release via DOE.