Dagupan City -- After hearing the state of the province, city and
municipal addresses by elected local officials, Pangasinenses now look
forward to listening to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's
State-of-the-Nation Address or SONA.
Scheduled on the 28th of July in time with the opening of Congress,
the SONA 2008 will revolve on investments made, investments being made
and investments to be made by the government to ensure long term
development for the nation.
With prices of oil and goods soaring, a milestone in Philippine
governance was achieved in the health sector when President Arroyo
urged Congress to step up the passage of the Cheaper Medicines Bill.
Republic Act 9502 or the Cheaper Medicines Law was signed by the
President on June 6, 2008.
Education, as one of the major keys to escape poverty, was well
invested in by the present administration. A total of 53,026 teaching
positions were created form 2002-2007 and 563,906 students were
granted scholarships. The government allocated P1 billion to TESDA for
its PGMA Training for Work Scholarship program in 2007 which produced
For college students, a P4 billion fund for college loans was launched
to increase beneficiaries from 40,000 to 200,000.
"We are investing P3 billion in science and engineering research and
development technology, including scholarships for masters and
doctoral degree programs in engineering in seven universities," the
An emergency employment program was also launched by the government
which gives gainful employment to out-of-school and out-of-work youth
Another breakthrough in agriculture was achieved with the launching of
the mariculture project or "palaisdaan sa dagat" in Tawi-Tawi on May
29, 2008. The project covers 1,000 hectares in Sibulu East and 25,000
hectares in North Lagoon, Sitangkal
Agrarian reform will also be reformed so it can transform
beneficiaries into agribusiness men and women. At present, 19
agribusiness venture agreements were forged involving 19,083 hectares
benefiting 13,824 agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Investments in the transportation sector was also seen with the
completion and opening of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal
3 which is set to operate within the year. President Arroyo's flight
was the first to land at the terminal on her return trip from the
United States last June 30,2008.
Although critics of the Arroyo administration make it a habit to
criticize every decision of the present government, the President is
keen on adopting measures that will benefit the majority of Filipinos
especially the poorest of the poor.
With good investments and public cooperation, Filipinos can be sure
that government targets are on track and prosperity for the nation is
not far behind. (PIA-Pangasinan)
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