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Department of Foreign Affairs-10Nov2009-updates

San Francisco’s FALEO Association Continues Relief Drive for Typhoon Victims

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 10:54 PM PST

10 November 2009 – The Philippine Consulate in San Francisco reported that the Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers Association (FALEO), composed of police officers from the San Francisco Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, and other law enforcement organizations in the Bay Area is continuing its relief drive for the benefit of typhoon victims in the Philippines.

Aside from donating hundreds of boxes of food items to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Philippines, FALEO also organized a musical concert at Intramuros Restaurant in South San Francisco to raise funds for the flood victims.

In a recent ceremony held at the Consulate, Consul General Marciano Paynor, Jr. presented officials of FALEO namely, Sgt. William Escobar, president; Sgt. Aaron Lozada; and Captain Eric Quema with a letter of appreciation for their efforts in helping the typhoon victims in the Philippines.

During the ceremony, the FALEO officers also turned over to the Consulate a check in the amount of US$5,000 representing the proceeds earned at the fund-raising musical concert as well as individual contributions from its members. END

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Typhoon Relief Goods and Donations Continue to Flow Through RP Consulate in Jeddah

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 10:48 PM PST

10 November 2009 – The Philippine Consulate in Jeddah reported that Filipino communities in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia continue to raise and send relief goods and cash donations for the victims of the dual typhoons of “Ondoy” and “Peping”.

The tons of assorted relief goods packed in “balikbayan” boxes, which included food and non-food items, were coursed through the Consulate and sent to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Office last November 5 in a 20-foot container van provided for free by the Skyfreight Cargo Forwarders.

The relief goods were donated by groups such as the APO Alumni Association (Yanbu Directorate), Circulo Ilonggo sa Saudi Arabia (CISA), Philippine Adventist School Alumni Association (PASAA), Institute of Overseas Filipino Architects (ISOFA), Kooperatibang Pinoy ng Saudia (Kopsa), the medical and nursing staffs of the Abuzinada and Bugshan Hospitals, the employees of Honda Company, and from other individuals.

The shipment also included relief goods sent by Filipino community groups and individuals in Khamis Mushayt, Abha, Tabuk, Taif and Yanbu. These were channeled through the Consulate’s area coordinators in the said cities and sent to Jeddah through Skyfreight’s cargo transports.

As relief goods continue to pour in, a second 20-foot container van is being made available by Skyfreight in line with its initial commitment to provide a 40-footer.

The van is already more than half-full due to the donations of 97 drums of assorted color paints from Jotun Paints Jeddah (preferably meant for the repainting of schools) and assorted relief goods from Filipino communities from Jeddah and its environs.

Cash donations totaling SR9,036 (approximately P112,950) were sent ahead to the DSWD Landbank Batasan Account. The cash donations came from CISA, the medical and nursing staff of Bugshan Hospital, the kind individuals who availed of the Consulate’s donation box facility at its Consular Section, and from the officers and staff of the Consulate.

Acting Head of Post Consul Leo Tito Ausan, Jr. profusely thanked all the groups and individuals who contributed relief goods and cash donations for such “a highly commendable gesture of charity only ‘Bagong Bayanis’ could proudly muster”. Consul Ausan also extended the Consulate’s gratitude to the spouses of their officers, staff and other volunteers who assisted in the sorting and packing of the relief goods.

It may be recalled that on October 9, an initial shipment of 14 balikbayan boxes of donations were sent in advance by the Consulate through DHL, which had also offered to transport it for free by air, to ABS-CBN’s “Sagip Kapamilya”. END

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RP Joins Choir of Nations in Concert for Peace in Luzerne

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 10:37 PM PST

10 November 2009 – Filipino community members from Samahang Filipino of Luzerne joined the “Choir of Nations” in a Concert for Peace held at the Cultural and Conference Center (KKL) in Luzerne, Switzerland.

As a tribute to the Philippine participation, the song Pobreng Alindahaw was among the 25 songs selected by the organizers for the concert.

The Concert for Peace is an innovative migration and integration project from the Canton of Solothurn with the objective to break all linguistic barriers through the common language of music.

Its organizers, Coalition suisse pour la diversité culturelle (Coalition for Cultural Diversity), is a group represented by professionals in the field of culture, and NGOs and other personalities who are engaged in safeguarding and protecting diverse cultures.

The concert featured the Choir of Nations, which is composed of choral members from different nations represented in Switzerland, including the Philippines. The choir serenaded their audiences which include religious songs of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christendom, and classical Indian songs with dance interpretations.

Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Maria Theresa P. Lazaro encouraged the Filipino community choir members to continue to play an active role in multicultural events such as the Choir of Nations to promote Philippine music and international cooperation. END

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Malaysian Chinese Association Donates RM50,000 to PNRC for Typhoon Victims in the Philippines

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 10:26 PM PST

10 November 2009 — Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Victoriano M. Lecaros (left) receives from Datuk Michael Chong JP, Head of Public Services and Complaints Department of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a mock cheque amounting to RM50,000 (approximately P650,000) representing MCA’s donation to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. Datuk Michael Chong is also an Adviser cum Special Officer to Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Witnessing the presentation of the mock cheque at the Embassy were Second Secretary and Consul Melchor P. Lalunio Jr. (2nd left) and Ms. Marina Chong, personal assistant to Datuk Michael Chong. END

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ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT TO THE PHILIPPINES OF THE HONORABLE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ON 12–13 NOVEMBER 2009

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 07:45 PM PST

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ARE INVITED TO COVER THE FOLLOWING EVENTS:

12 November 2009, Thursday, 1320H

Arrival of Secretary Clinton (PHOTO-OP ONLY; OPEN TO ALL)
Goldenberg Mansion, Lobby Entrance

Signing of Guest Book (PHOTO-OP ONLY; POOL COVERAGE)
Goldenberg Lobby

Start of One-on-One Meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo (PHOTO-OP; POOL COVERAGE)
Oriental Room

Start of Bilateral Meeting (PHOTO-OP; POOL COVERAGE)
Dining Room

Group Photo (POOL COVERAGE)
Second Floor Lobby
JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE
Main Salon (OPEN TO ALL)

Only FOUR (4) PHOTOGRAPHERS will be given slots for the POOL photo coverage.

• One from the DFA Press Corps (PRINT)
• One from the DFA Press Corps (TV)
• One from FOCAP
• One from the accompanying U.S. media delegation

Only FOUR (4) questions will be entertained during the joint press conference.

• One from the DFA Press Corps (PRINT)
• One from DFA Press Corps (TV)
• One from FOCAP
• One from the accompanying U.S. media delegation

Members of the media who wish to cover must register with the Department of Foreign Affairs/International Press Center at telephone number 309-1095, on or before 11 November 2009, 12 noon.

Names of photographers who will be included in the pool, and journalists selected by their peers to ask questions in the press conference, must be submitted to DFA-PISU at 834-3743, on or before 11 November 2009, 12 noon.

*The DETAILED guidelines for the media coverage will follow.

i Other than Reuters, Agence France Presse, and Associated Press (whose colleagues are with the accompanying U.S. media delegation)
ii Reuters, Agence France Presse, Voice of America, and Associated Press
iii Other than Reuters, Agence France Presse, and Associated Press

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RP’s Ranking (Control of Corruption) Improved from 39th to 33rd Among Low-Income Country (LIC) List

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 03:06 PM PST

Manila, 06 November 2009- Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo today acknowledged the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard of the Philippines showing below the median scores in a number of indicators, but stressed that these resulted from “technicalities in evaluation.”

“On the CoC (Control of Corruption) indicator, the Philippines’ ranking has actually improved by six notches, from 39th to 33rd, above the 37th rank of the median country out of the 73 countries in the LIC list of the MCC, “Secretary Romulo said.

Comparing the results with last year’s MCC scorecard, Secretary Romulo pointed out that the country would have showed improved performances had it not been elevated to a higher income category. The failing marks, he stressed, resulted chiefly from the country’s transition from a low-income country (LIC) in 2008 to lower middle-income (LMIC) in 2009, based on its improved income per capita.

“The country’s failing grades in some areas is the result of technicalities in evaluation, such as the country’s rise from a low-income country to a lower middle-income country. Higher income countries are measured using more stringent standards,” Secretary Romulo said.

“The improvement in the country’s income category is a clear reflection of the Philippine Government’s sustained commitment to economic and governance reforms amidst the global financial crisis,” he added.

The World Bank increased RP scores in governance report

“We also recall,” the Secretary added, “that in the 2009 World Governance Indicators (WGI) report published by the World Bank Institute, the Philippines demonstrated significant improvements in four out of six governance dimensions namely, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption. In fact, the biggest jump was recorded in the control of corruption where our score increased from 22.2% to 26.1 %.”

The WGI report, together with its third party sources of information, represents the largest publicity available data resource on governance in the world. It is also used by the MCC, in combination with other indicator reports, in making its allocation decisions.

The MCC scorecard showed the country received passing marks for Political Rights (53%), Civil Liberties (62%), Government Effectiveness (79%), and Voice and Accountability (59%).

Under “Economic Freedom,” the Philippines passed in five categories, namely, Regulatory Quality (74%), Land Rights and Access (58%), Trade Policy (65%), Inflation (48%), and Fiscal Policy (56%), but failed in Business Start-Up (34%).

Under the second broad category “Investing in People,” the country showed a passing mark for Natural Resource Management (84) but failed under Immunization Rates (41%), Girls’ Primary Education Completion (44%), Health Expenditures (19%) and Primary Education Expenditures (32%)..

RP intensifies fight against poverty and corruption

As the World Bank report on the improved income status of the Philippines came out last July, the Philippines remains hopeful that being placed in a higher income category will not derail the bid for an MCC full Compact grant in 2010. The country’s compact proposal for 2010-2014 is currently under technical review.

The Compact proposal, which is in the final stages of development, focuses on three high-impact projects – Secondary National Roads Development (SNRD); Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) and Integrated Revenue Information System (IRIS).

Secretary Romulo stressed that, “While the gains from the government’s anti-corruption efforts were clearly manifested in notable international governance reports, the Philippine government will continue to build on these gains.”

The Philippines’ plan of action under MCC’s Policy Improvement Process (PIP) to strategically address policy performance issues such as Control of Corruption is also being reviewed by the MCC. The MCC has recognized the high degree of political commitment the Philippine government has demonstrated to this process which is a product of a multi-stakeholder effort.

The Philippines’ PIP will monitor progress in preventive measures against corruption such as improving transparency in budget delivery, institutionalization of a balanced scorecard system on improved frontline public services in specific national agencies and development of selected local government units (LGUs) as sparkplugs for economic development.

MCC remains confident in RP as potential Compact partner

Recognizing the Philippines’ continuing commitment to good policy performance, MCC Vice President for Compact Development Darius Teter signed a memorandum of understanding on 609 (g) under the Millennium Challenge Account Act of 2003, with Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa last October 16 in Washington DC.

The MCC will provide $5.57 million to help the Philippines complete beneficiary analysis, engineering designs, and environmental and social impact assessments for the Compact proposal.

“The Philippines is ready to be a Compact partner. Concluding a Compact agreement soon will further support our anti-poverty program and efforts in the areas of ruling justly, investing in people and promoting economic freedom,” Secretary Romulo assured. END

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