Thursday, July 17, 2008

KGMA News 7/18/08 VOC

San Fernando City, La Union -- Four years ago, President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo set a new direction for the country when she vowed
that her Administration will prioritize the welfare of all Filipinos
particularly the poor among the poorest and improving the country's

The President has been steadfast working hard in her resolve to carry
out her promises which she outlined in her SONA last year, 2007, and
that her Administration's targets are on track vis-Ã -vis its actual
accomplishments and her vision to rise from a third rate to a first
rate nation.

With the cooperation of her entire Cabinet officials, Congress, LGUs,
NGOs, and the private sector, the government was able to deliver the
reforms and services because of her various government initiatives and
programs that were implemented which made the country now on a steady
and sure growth.

That, despite natural calamities, tragedies and destabilization plots,
the Arroyo Administration was triumphant against them and regained the
country's stature because her Administration is focused and determined
to achieve what was laid out in her blueprint in improving the
economy, strengthening investment, creating more jobs, providing
quality education, healthcare and other social services.

By allocating more funds to her social services programs, investing in
human capital and physical infrastructure, implementing various
economic reforms that include the VAT, the economy have taken to a
greater heights giving more benefits to the poor such as giving out
subsidies to them as a way of giving back to them the gains of the

Reports show that year 2007 indicate that in education, a total of
563,906 students were given financial subsidies: 475,560 for education
service contracting and 88,346 for educational vouchers from 2004-2007
while a total of 53,026 teaching positions were created from 2002 â€"
2007 exceeding its target of 50,000 teaching positions. For PGMA
Training for Work Scholarship program, P1 billion was provided to
TESDA and in the year 2007, there were 96,809 graduates. For student
loans program and scholarships, P1 billion was also released by the
government while another P1.005 billion was allocated for MS and PhD
scholars under the Engineering Research and Development for Technology

For agriculture, the mariculture project was launched in Tawi-Tawi on
May 29, 2008, covering 1,000 hectares in Sibutu East and 25,000
hectares in North Lagoon, Sitangkai.

In terms of job creation under emergency employment, the government
has hired 20,000 out-of-school, out-of-work youth every year. Under
health program, PGMA has asked Congress to pass the Cheaper Medicine
Bill that was almost enacted in June and that Republic Act No. 99502,
the Cheaper Medicines Law, was signed on June 6, 2008.

For transportation, NAIA Terminal 3 is accelerating the remediation,
completion and opening of the terminal which the President has landed
after her 10-day working visit in US last June 30, 2008. The terminal
is expected to fully operate within the year.

On Agrarian reform program, 19 agri-business venture agreements forged
involving 19,083 hectares benefiting 13,824 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, on microfinance loans, the government has released a total
of P91.28 billion for the 3,770,115 clients from 2004 â€" 2008. With
this program, Filipinos were able to rise above poverty since it also
created jobs for the poor.

These accomplishments made by the Arroyo Administration show the
sincere determination of the government to strive more and continue
working and serving the people bringing the gains of the economy to
make them better off.

- By Jessie R. Valdez (PIA La Union)

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