MANILA—Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella has announced that the Philippine manufacturing sector remains the second best performer among ASEAN countries.
Abella noted that the country’s manufacturing sector scored 53.3 in the recent Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, indicating a solid increase in output for the month of April, next only to Vietnam.
He also said that the January 2017 Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that the largest percentage of employment can be attributed to the manufacturing sector.
“Hence, this is consistent with the Duterte administration’s goal of generating 1.2 million jobs annually as it continues to accelerate growth in the manufacturing sector,” Abella said during a press briefing Tuesday.
The Palace official further cited the Philippine Stock Exchange, which surged to 7,962.33 last Monday, saying it reflects the growing market and investor confidence in the Duterte administration.
“The Philippine economy is said to have likely grown 7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 and we are optimistic that we will reach our target of sustained and inclusive economic growth for the rest of the year, as we begin to roll out our Build-Build-Build infrastructure campaign,” Abella said.
The Duterte administration, he said, has begun to lay down the foundations of bringing prosperity to all Filipinos.
Abella said President Duterte presided over a meeting with his Cabinet secretaries Monday to discuss several issues, among them the roadmap to federalism and the country’s preparations for the Big One.
“The Cabinet accepted the proposal of NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) on the National Earthquake Preparedness Program subject to the inclusion of the comments and inputs of the Secretaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) on the possible relocation of government offices located near the West Valley Fault system and the organization of a comprehensive communication campaign on National Earthquake Preparedness,” he said.
Meanwhile, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta announced in the same briefing that President Duterte has granted the payment of monetary gratuities long awaited by public defenders who reached retirement age in 2010.
“Umaabot po ng more or less 178 million ang kanilang five-year lump sum total at kasama na rin po dito ‘yung limang pamilyang namatayan. Kabilang sa aming PAO44 ‘yung limang pamilya. Pamilya ni Atty. Rody Alonzo, Atty. Daoas, Atty. Savellano, at may dalawa pa. At may recent din pong namatay si Atty. Wilfredo Mayol ng Bohol (Their five-year lump sum total reached more of less PHP178 million, and this includes the five bereaved families. Among the PAO44 are the families of Atty. Rody Alonzo, Atty. Daoas, Atty. Savellano and two others. Atty. Wilfredo Mayol of Bohol died recently as well),” Acosta bared.
Retired PAO lawyers had initiated legal action regarding the benefits during the previous administration. “Nanalo po kami noong Feb. 14 ng taong ito sa Sala ni Judge Maria Gilda Loja Pangilinan, Branch 230 ng Quezon City (We won on Feb. 14 this year at the Sala of Judge Maria Gilda Loja Pangilinan, Branch 230 of Quezon City),” the public defender explained.
The PAO retirees were claiming benefits similar to those received by their counterpart prosecutor-lawyers in the National Prosecution Service (NAPROS).
“Nagwagi po ang PAO retirees. Karapat-dapat pong bigyan ng retirement equivalent to the retirement of the NAPROS and their counterparts in the judiciary (The PAO retirees won. It is only fitting that they be given retirement equivalent to the retirement of the NAPROS and their counterparts in the judiciary),” she said.
“Ito po ang hinihintay namin na kasabay ng pagdating ng bagong Pangulo na naging pag-asa po ng maralitang Pilipino (This is what we’ve been waiting for with the coming of the new President, who is the hope of underprivileged Filipinos), Mayor Duterte.”
The PAO chief also announced that the Supreme Court ruling stated that public attorneys no longer need to undergo the Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) certification.
“Pagpapasalamat sa Supreme Court sapagkat lumabas na po ang kautusan na panalo po ang PAO doon sa CESO case. Hindi po kailangang mag-CESO ang mga public attorneys kagaya ng mga hukom at mga piskal (We’d like to thank the Supreme Court for handing down the ruling that the PAO won the CESO case. Public attorneys no longer need to undergo the CESO, just like judges and fiscals),” Acosta said.
She added that there is sufficient legal protection for an accused under Philippine law and urged human rights advocates to consider the travails facing law enforcers who confront well-funded criminal syndicates in the country.