Saturday, July 1, 2017

PCOO head conveys Duterte’s 'year of change' message to Legazpi
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, June 30 -- Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar was here on Friday, June 30, which marks the first year in office of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, to convey the Chief Executive's message to the people of Legazpi City on what the government has been doing.

In an interview early Friday morning with Nancy Mediavillo, station manager of “Radyo Pilipinas”-Albay, Andanar said the past year has been one of changes brought about by the programs and reforms the Duterte administration has implemented in its governance, for the benefit of the people.

"We are making visits to bring the President’s message to the people (Tayo ay umiikot para dalhin ang mensahe ng ating Pangulo sa ating mga kababayan),” he said.

Andanar said he has been going around the country because he wants the people to know the administration’s accomplishments in areas such as new investments generated, improvements in the agriculture sector and people’s access to information.

He said his visit to Legazpi coincides with the 2017 roadshow on the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) being jointly sponsored by PCOO and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and which seeks to increase the people’s awareness on the impact of the regional organization on their lives.

Andanar said the Legazpi visit is also an opportunity to visit the agencies under PCOO that include Radyo Pilipinas, Philippine News Agency (PNA) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Radyo Pilipinas is the erstwhile Radyo ng Bayan, the government’s radio arm that has received a facelift at the turn of the new administration while PNA is the official news agency of the government. PIA is the government bureau in charge of disseminating information, “on-ground, from the government to the grassroots level.”

Andanar said the one-year-old administration of President Duterte is comparable to three years because of the many things he was able to achieve.

“Let us include the USD35-billion worth of investments brought home by our President…(and) grants of loans for our country,” he said.

This referred to President Duterte’s visit to other countries and states such as Peru, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Russia which bore fruit in terms of various business deals and opportunities.

He added the President was able to open markets, among them Russia, for the Philippines’ agricultural products.

Andanar noted that the Department of Agriculture has received an allocation of PHP46 billion for research and development; market expansion; agriculture and fisheries support; and for the construction of farm-to-market roads this year.

“Through the ‘rice production enhancement program,’ a budget of PHP9.7 billion for 2017 has been allocated to help the farmers increase their production,” he added.

Andanar also emphasized that 727 hectares of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac have been placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with lots awarded to around 4,000 farm workers.

He said that within a year in office, the President has signed an Executive Order (EO) on Freedom of Information or FOI that covers the entire executive branch.

Andanar said the EO on FOI has made information accessible to the people for as long as it will not cause harm to national security.

Aside from relaying what a “year of change” has looked like, Andanar also emphasized that the government is conducting an information campaign in various provinces in the country so Filipinos from all walks of life could understand what it means for the Philippines to become a member of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Community of 10-member nations.

Andanar was keynote speaker at the information caravan on the ASEAN held at the Legazpi City Convention Center today with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

He said the Legazpi leg of the caravan, that has toured five other parts of the country, seeks to increase awareness on the impact of the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN 2017 when the regional organization is also celebrating its 50th year of founding.

The Philippine government’s advocacy to promote unity with and among ASEAN members states and its global partners is anchored on the theme “Partnering for Change Engaging the World” that “envisions a future that is prosperous for all citizens.”

Andanar, in his closing remarks during the interview with Radyo ng Bayan Pilipinas, thanked the public for the continuous support and trust that they have given to the leadership of President Duterte.

He reiterated his hopes for a “progressive Philippines” under the administration of Mr. Duterte. (PNA)