PGMA to receive 2 awards from U.S., Spain

April 12, 2010 11:04 pm 

MANILA, April 12 – Malacanang announced this morning that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will receive two international awards: one to be given by the United States government for her environmental initiatives, the other by the Spanish government for her efforts to promote the Spanish language in the Philippines.

In his regular press briefing at the Palace, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Gary Olivar said President Arroyo will receive the Teddy Roosevelt Award at the sideline of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C.

President Arroyo left early this morning for the United States to attend the summit where over 40 countries are expected to firm up their commitment to combat nuclear terrorism. The gathering, said to be an initiative of U.S. President Barack Obama, will focus on seeking international cooperation and improving security measures and protocol for controlling nuclear materials worldwide.

In a statement, Olivar said environmentalist groups in Europe oppose to exploration of natural resources “ought to know that all our new projects are required to uphold the highest safety and environmental practices, that affected indigenous communities are required to share with the nation at large in the billion-dollar benefits from mining. And that is possible, desirable and legally required to pursue what the President calls sustainable development.”

From the United States, President Arroyo will fly to Spain where she will be conferred the award for promoting the Spanish language in the Philippines.

During his briefing, Olivar also cited the successful conduct of early voting through automation among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“We hope and expect that this successful process will continue and carry over the regular elections come May 10, 2010,” Olivar said.

He noted that some of the early congratulations for the auspicious start of overseas voting came from local politicians belonging to an opposition party. He indicated that owing to the initial success of the automated voting among the OFWs, the opposition politicians should now tone down their “intemperate rhetoric” about unfounded fears of failure of elections and alleged shortcomings of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Olivar pointed out that the Arroyo administration has always supported the Comelec in its “challenging and unprecedented task,” apparently referring to the first-ever conduct of automated voting.

“Perhaps now, on an issue that should transcend politics, we may finally see the unanimity among all those who aspire to serve our people,” Olivar stressed. (PNA)

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