ASEC. DE VERA: Magandang hapon Malacañang Press Corps, kasama natin ngayon si Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles.
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Magandang hapon. Nagkaroon tayo ng Cabinet meeting po kanina but of course, bago iyan, mayroon po tayong bagong Executive Secretary, si former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin; nag-umpisa na po siya kanina matapos niyang mag-oath taking, um-attend po siya ng ika siyam na Cabinet meeting ng administrasyon na ito, nag-participate na po siya kanina. At today, he puts in a full day’s work immediately after taking his oath.
Sa Cabinet meeting naman po, ang aming na-discuss tungo doon sa economic transformation agenda ng ating Pangulo ay ang mga sumusunod:
Una, efforts to ensure compliance with Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW). Ito po ay diniscuss (discussed) ng MARINA, CHED at Department of Migrant Workers. Tungo pa dito, ang DOLE naman at TESDA at CHED ay nag-discuss ng pag-upgrade ng skills of the Filipino workforce. Bahagi ito doon sa economic transformation program ng ating Pangulo, kasama pa doon iyong educational aspect at isa po ito doon sa aspeto na iyon. So, both vocational skills training and expanding the skills of our workforce are part of the economic transformation of the President;
Sa atin namang Karding response, tuluy-tuloy pa rin po ang NDRRMC sa kanilang assessment sa epekto ng nakaraang bagyo. As of this morning’s counting, ang sabi ng NDRRMC, walo (8) po ang reported dead, tatlo pa ang missing, 32 cities and municipalities have declared that they are under a state of calamity.
Ang current count for affected population is at 60,817 persons with more than 46,000 persons staying in 976 evacuation centers across affected regions. Although, maano iyong numbers na ito, sinasabi ng DSWD, dahil na-preposition po ang mga relief goods at pre-evacuated ang mga potential victims dito, the damage is minimal in terms of the cost of human life and injuries. Nasasanay po ang mga tao doon sa pag-i-evacuate, doon sa mga early warnings at saka doon sa pagkaroon ng maayos iyong sistema sa pag-i-evacuate at pag-early warning sa ating mga potential victims in disaster paths.
Bukas na po tayo para sa mga katanungan.
MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Hi Ma’am, magandang umaga po. Ma’am, can you give us background, kailan po nakausap ni President Bongbong Marcos si ES Bersamin and why did the President chose ES Bersamin to be the new Executive Secretary?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Well, primarily, it’s a trust basis. Sinasabi ng ating Pangulo, he is well-qualified to be the Executive Secretary having put in so many years in the judiciary. He has the necessary legal background and the ability to deal with the paperwork plus of course, he is trusted and well-qualified for this.
MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Pero, Ma’am, paki-explain lang po. What will be the difference when it comes doon sa mandate ng Executive Secretary and doon po sa office ngayon ni Secretary Vic Rodriguez as Presidential Chief of Staff, tama po ba?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Well, in the absence—wala pa pong publication kasi ang ating EO #1, so we will have to wait for that bago po natin magawan ng distinction, if any. So, we will wait for the publication.
MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Ma’am, sorry last na lang. Does it mean na hindi pa po final iyong appointment ni Atty. Vic Rodriguez as chief of staff?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Ang current status quo is that he entered into his duties as chief of staff. So, that is how things stand right now.
MARIZ UMALI/GMA NEWS: Ma’am, just a follow-up on what Maricel asked a while ago, when it comes to when exactly did the President talk to the former Chief Justice or the present ES now? When was the offer made? Was it prior to him going to the US?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Wala po tayong information on that one. We know that he had talked to former Chief Justice, now Executive Secretary Bersamin before he entered into his duties; but as to the exact date, wala po tayong information on that.
MARIZ UMALI/GMA NEWS: Pero matagal na po niyang naku-contemplate iyon, right after the resignation of the former ES?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: I have no information on that one as well. I am not sure, even of the relevance of the question.
JOB MANAHAN/ABS-CBN ONLINE: Good afternoon, Secretary Trixie. Is there any information or [unclear] possibly supplying fuel and fertilizer to the Philippines? President Marcos in an interview po kasi while he was in the US confirmed that he’s having talks right now regarding that and he is close na daw po in striking a deal.
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: So, until such time that the agreement has been entered into and finalized, we cannot comment on it.
JOB MANAHAN/ABS-CBN ONLINE: So, wala pong information iyong Palace on that, Ma’am, kahit sneak peek lang po?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: We do have the information but until the agreement has been finalized then we cannot disclose the pending transactions.
JOB MANAHAN/ABS-CBN ONLINE: Thank you po, ma’am.
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: If any.
JOYCE BALANCIO/ABS-CBN: Good afternoon po, ma’am. Napag-usapan po ba sa Cabinet meeting iyong weak peso value? Ano na pong plano ng economic managers about it?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Not today although the President is in constant touch with the Economic Team, and they are closely monitoring this. As you know naman that the inflation rate isn’t due to any local factors it’s really about the exchange rate, but it is a matter for the President which the President closely monitors on a regular basis, and he is in close contact with the Economic Managers on this matter.
JOYCE BALANCIO/ABS-CBN: Follow up lang po, the International Monetary Fund expects low growth in the Philippines to just 5% in 2023 from a forecast of 6.5% for 2022. Palace reaction lang po.
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: I’m sorry. Was there a question?
JOYCE BALANCIO/ABS-CBN: Reaction to the statement of the IMF, they’re expecting slow growth in the Philippines for next year.
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Well, we will have to see about that. The forecast…our Economic Managers forecast a higher growth. So, they are in a much better position to make that determination and that forecast. Our fundamentals are strong, the economy is in a good resurgence, and we are experiencing a good rate of growth right now.
So, we will have to see in the end whether that forecast is going to be more accurate that the local forecast.
DENNIS JAMITO/BOMBO RADYO: Okay, ma’am, good afternoon. Nagkaroon po ba o magkakaroon ng Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council Meeting after noong pag-certify as urgent dito sa 2023 national budget? May schedule po ba?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Wala pa pong ipinahahayag na schedule sa ngayon.
DENNIS JAMITO/BOMBO RADYO: Follow up lang, ma’am. Ano po ang nagbunsod bakit sinertify as urgent iyong national budget ng 2023 dahil priority naman talaga ng both Houses of Congress iyong budget taun-taon, ma’am?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: It’s really just to underscore the need to pass the budget para hindi magkaroon ng reenacted budget. It’s the same reason.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Ma’am, sorry other issues lang po. Kasi iyon pong grupong Hukom at saka po iyong Philippine Judges Association they actually called on the administration leadership to declare that in no time under its watch will democracy be imperiled by an irresponsible and unfounded assault on a trial judge. Actually, sinabi po nila ito following the statement of former Usec. Lorraine Badoy against po doon kay Justice…Judge Malagar, iyong decision about the terrorism of CPP-NPA.
Ano po iyong response ng administration sa panawagan po ng grupong Hukom?
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: As you know this administration will adhere closely to the rule of law and only to the rule of law. We do not endorse any illegal activities and we have relied on the statement of the Secretary of Justice saying that this particular case can be refiled or is to be refiled under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
So, there is no need for a reaction regarding…on the part of the administration, strictly on the part of the administration there is no need to react about the decision since there is a different regime now, a different legal regime which is the Anti-Terrorism Act.
So, we let the law take its course and allow the judiciary to exercise its full mandate. The SOJ will be directing any way the filing of a proscription case in the Court of Appeals as prescribed by the Anti-Terrorism Act.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Thank you, ma’am.
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: You’re welcome. Mayroon pa po ba?
ASEC. DE VERA: Maraming salamat, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles. Maraming salamat, Malacañang Press Corps. Magandang hapon.
PRESS SEC. CRUZ-ANGELES: Maraming salamat.
SOURCE: OPS-NIB (News and Information Bureau – Transcription Section)