The President’s Day: January 18, 2003

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18 JANUARY 2003

  • President’s radio address to the nation
  • GMA says polls in 2004 to be computerized from counting to tabulation
  • GMA says she’ll update people on all her programs
  • Statement by Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye
  • Math and Science will be upgraded — GMA
  • GMA to launch educational campaign on responsible parenthood
  • Pinatubo victims hail GMA’s housing program
  • GMA earmarks P5 billion for anti-poverty campaign
  • GMA announces release of P700 M coco levy

President’s radio address to the nation

Magandang araw po sa inyong lahat.

Nais kong gamitin ang pagkakataong ito upang ipaabot sa inyo ang aking matibay na pananalig sa sambayanang Pilipino.

Malaki ang aking tiwala sa kakayahan ng ating mga kababayan na lampasan ang anumang problemang kanilang hinaharap.

Ang kailangan lamang ay mabigyan ang Pilipino ng kapangyarihang gumawa ng akmang desisyon at mapagkalooban ng tama at sapat na resources tungo sa makabuluhang pakikilahok sa mga mithiin at programa ng pamahalaan.

Hayaan n’yo ring ulitin ko sa inyo na ang lahat ng ating mga gagawin mula ngayon ay nonpartisan, o walang kinikilingang partido o samahan.

Ang aking mga desisyon ay bunsod ng aking responsibilidad sa ating bayan at walang anumang bahid ng pulitika.

Buuin natin ang isang government of national cooperation upang wakasan ang ating pagkawatak-watak.

Gagawin nating mga nasa pamahalaan ang lahat para isulong ang ating bansa, pero kailangan ko ang inyong suporta at pakiki-isa.

Bilang patunay nang tapat na hangarin, inihayag ko kamakailan ang mga detalyadong plano ng ating mga gagawin sa susunod na labimpitong buwan. Ito ay nakatuon lalung-lalo na tungkol sa micro-economic action agenda na ngayon ay mas mapag-uukulan natin ng pansin dahil sa desisyon kong huwag nang tumakbo sa  2004 elections.

Patuloy kong iisa-isahin ang ating mga programa sa mga darating na araw para mas mauunawaan nang lahat at tuloy malaman kung saan at papaano kayo maaaring tumulong o makinabang sa pagpapatupad nito.

Noong Huwebes ay binuksan ko ang Super Terminal sa Pier 15 ng South Harbor at doon ipinamahagi ko ang ating Roads and Roll on-Roll off Ferry Terminal System.

Ang proyektong ito ay inaasahang magpapababa sa presyo ng pagbibiyahe ng cargo at pasahero mula sa Mindanao patungong Luzon.

Ang DBP ay naglaan na ng dalawampung bilyong piso (P20 B) para sa nasabing modernisasyon ng ating ferry system.. Hindi lamang nito pahuhusayin ang daloy ng kalakalan sa pagitan ng ating mga isla kundi hihimukin din ang mas maraming private sector investment.

Sa ngayon ay may dalawampu’t-anim nang kompanya ang nagpahayag ng interes na lumahok sa programang ito.

As I’ve said before, Filipino business has great potential. We don’t need to tap it; we just need to let it be. What we need is just to create the conditions for it to flourish.

Kaya naman, kailangan nating pabilisin ang implementasyon ng mga proyektong imprastruktura para magsilbi silang mahalagang daanan ng kalakalan.

Bukod sa RORO facilities, sisimulan na natin ang rehabilitasyon ng railway system sa Luzon sa tulong ng suportang pinansyal na manggagaling sa South Korea at Tsina.

Sa loob ng taong ito, aayusin natin ang mga linya ng tren na Balintawak-Malolos at Manila-Cabuyao. Ang Manila-Cabuyao ay tulong din ng Hapon.

Palalawakin natin ang North Expressway at pahahabain ang South Expressway hanggang umabot sa Batangas Port.

At magkakaroon din ng interconnection ang MRT at LRT para mabawasan ang siksikan sa trapiko sa Kamaynilaan.

Sa anibersaryo ng EDSA Dos sa darating na Lunes, ihahayag ko naman kung papaano natin titiyaking magiging malinis at maayos ang eleksiyon sa susunod na taon.

Gagawin natin itong computerized mula counting hanggang tabulation para siguruhing bawa’t boto ng ating mga kababayan ay mabibilang nang tama.

Ang EDSA Dos ay nagluklok sa akin bilang Pangulo dahil sa malaking galit ng mga mamamayan sa nagaganap noong katiwalian.

Bilang pagkilala sa katotohanang ito, maglulunsad tayo ng isang kilusan laban sa corruption na mangangailangan ng pakikilahok ng sambayanan. Inuulit ko na matibay ang aking pananalig sa ating mga kababayan.

Malaki ang aking tiwala na, sa ating pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan, malalampasan natin ang anumang problema, kagaya nang ating ginawa sa EDSA. Kaya, hinihiling kong muli sa lahat na samahan ninyo ako at tulungan upang makamit ang ating pangarap na magandang bukas.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay ang Pilipino.

GMA says polls in 2004 to be computerized from counting to tabulation

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today said she would see to it that the 2004 presidential and local elections would be computerized from counting to tabulation to insure that every vote will be counted correctly.

In a radio message, the President said she would announce her other plans to assure a clean and honest 2004 polls on Monday during the EDSA Dos anniversary.

The President also said that in recognition of the fact that EDSA Dos was a showing of the people’s anger against corruption, she would be launching during the second anniversary a movement against corruption.

She said the movement would need the participation of the whole nation. “Inuulit ko na matibay ang aking pananalig sa ating mga kababayan (I reiterate my strong belief in our countrymen),” the President said.

“Ang kailangan lamang ay mabigyan ang Pilipino ng kapangyarihang gumawa ng akmang desisyon at mapagkalooban ng tama at sapat na resources tungo sa makabuluhang pakikilahok sa mga mithiin at programa ng pamahalaan (What is needed is to give every Filipino the power to make decisions for themselves and the right and enough resources so that they can meaningfully participate in the vision and programs of the government),” the President pointed out.

The President also reiterated that from hereon she would be non-partisan. “Ang aking mga desisyon ay bunsod ng aking responsibilidad sa ating bayan at walang anumang bahid ng pulitika (All my decisions would be borne out of my responsibility to the nation and not because of politics),” she said.

The President called on the people to join her in forming a government of national cooperation and to put an end to disunity.

GMA says she’ll update people on all her programs

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today said she would keep the nation informed on all her programs so that they would know where they can be of help or what will benefit them.

In a radio message, the President said her programs in the next 17 months would be focused on the micro-economic action agenda.

“Noong Huwebes ay binuksan ko ang Super Terminal sa Pier 15 ng South Harbor at doon ipinamahagi ko ang ating Roads and Roll on-Roll off Ferry Terminal System (Last Thursday I inaugurated the Super Terminal at Pier 15 of the South Harbor and there I announced our Roads and Roll on-Roll off Ferry Terminal System),” the President said.

The project, according to the President, would bring down the costs of cargo and passenger handling and transporting from Mindanao to Luzon. She said the Development Bank of the Philippines has put aside P20 billion for the modernization of the ferry system.

“Hindi lamang nito pahuhusayin ang daloy ng kalakalan sa pagitan ng ating mga isla kundi hihimukin din and mas maraming private sector investment (This would not only improve investment flow among the islands but also encourage more private sector investment),” the President said.

The President added that at present 26 companies have signified their interest in joining the program.

“As I’ve said before, Filipino business has great potential. We don’t need to tap it; we just need to let it be. What we need is just to create the conditions for it to flourish,” the President said.

The President pointed out that there is a need to speed up the implementation of infrastructure projects to spruce up economic activities in the countryside.

The President also announced that the rehabilitation of the railway system in Luzon would soon be started. This includes the railways of Balintawak-Malolos and Manila-Cabuyao.

The North Expressway will be widened and the South Expressway will reach up to the Batangas Port. The MRT and LRT railways will also be interconnected to decongest traffic in the metropolis.

Statement by Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye

The President remains focused on growing the economy, stamping out corruption, pursuing electoral reforms and healing the nation

Her expression of preference for the constitutional convention as a mode for effecting charter change is by no means inconsistent with her declaration namely: that she is not running in 2004 and in fact elections would be held as scheduled in 2004.

Math and Science will be upgraded — GMA

San Fernando, Pampanga — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today said she would upgrade math and science teaching in basic education to prepare the youth to be the next generation knowledge workers.

“That’s why we have added more hours to the teaching of mathematics, the President said in a speech after her conferment of the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, by the University of the Assumption of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The President has instructed Secretary Edilberto de Jesus of the Department of Education to add more laboratory hours to science.

The President added that the English language education be also upgraded to attract teachers to teach the subject.

The President recalled that last year, for the first time in the history of the Philippine government, she included public school teachers, the policemen and soldiers in the government employees’ extra Christmas bonus.

The Chief Executive said that these government workforce were not included because of the 1.2 million numbers of government employees, half a million are teachers, and a hundred thousand of them are soldiers.

“And they would say that if you include them in the Christmas bonus, we will have a very big financial problem,” the President explained.

However, the President said she felt that the molders of the minds and the protectors of peace should not be excluded in such benefits.

The President also disclosed that only yesterday, the Department of Education entered into an agreement with government financial institutions to buy the teachers’ debts so that they will be able to pay lower interest rates in their never ending loans.

The President also instructed Secretary de Jesus to institute school feeding programs for primary schools in the poorest school districts to increase the chances of Filipino children finishing school.

She asked Presidential Assistant for Education Mona Valisno to make sure that these instructions are carried out.

“This is part of what I said in my first State of the Nation’s Address that we should minimize the cost of going to school,” the President said.

This was started, the President pointed out, when the collection of miscellaneous fees were stopped in public schools on enrollment day.

“And we continue this also by making sure that there is a school building in every barangay by 2004, when I leave my office,” the President said.

The conferment of the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, was a recognition by the University of Assumption of the countless achievements of the President to improve the quality of human life for the Filipino in general, and of the Kapampangan in particular.

The conferment ceremony was the climax of a year-long celebration commemorating the Ruby Jubilee or 40th year of the founding of the University.

The first ever awardee of the Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, was the late President Diosdado Macapagal. His daughter, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was only the second.

GMA to launch educational campaign on responsible parenthood

San Fernando, Pampanga — Reiterating that her population policy is based on the Christian and Constitutional principle of responsible parenthood, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said she is launching an educational campaign on responsible parenthood by next month.

The campaign would encourage couples towards birth spacing and make them aware that there are modern technologies that are consistent with Christian formation, the President said.

In a speech after her conferment of the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, by the University of the Assumption in San Fernando, Pampanga, the President said that birth spacing is Christian and responsible.

“We will push this all the way until I pass on the policy, hopefully, to my successor,” the President said.

It can be recalled that the President said on July 26, last year, that her administration is pushing an “aggressive natural population plan” in an effort to address the growing population in the country.

The President said that the target of her administration is to bring up the use of the natural method by 20 percent through an aggressive education campaign for couples.

Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit, on the other hand, said that it important to get in touch with couples and educate them, “sp that they may know essentially what might be good for them.”

Mt. Pinatubo victims hail GMA’s housing program

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga — Local government officials of Pampanga and hundreds of residents here hailed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her sincere efforts to provide free house and lot units to all the victims of Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

The President visited the province of Pampanga today to distribute the 640 Certificates of Housing Allocation and 118 Certificates of Market Stalls Award to the residence of the Bulaon Resettlement Site.

The President arrived here at exactly 1:30 this afternoon and she received a warm welcome from the residents. They thanked her for the beautiful and spacious housing units that were built for them for free by the 51st Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army.

Earlier, the President toured and inspected some of the housing units and the newly constructed market facilities that will provide settlers there resettlement-based livelihood opportunities.

She then personally distributed the Certificates of Housing Allocation and Certificates of Market Stalls Award to the beneficiaries at the newly built Resettlement Site.

Some 323 market stalls were built but for the meantime only 118 Certificates of Market Stalls were awarded by the President during her short visit here. The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) schedules the awarding of the remaining 205 market stalls in the next few days.

Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, HUDCC Secretary Michael Defensor, Pampanga Governor Lito Lapid, Bacolor Mayor Romeo Dungca, Jr., Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales, President of the Pampanga Mayors League and other local officials witnessed the distribution of certificates.

The President also witnessed the turnover of Bulaon Water System to San Fernando Water District, the awarding of lot of HUDCC-PMO (formerly Mt. Pinatubo Commission) to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for the construction of the Diosdado Macapagal Technical School inside the resettlement site, and the awarding of P5,000 checks to 37 resident-beneficiaries under the HUDCC-PMO Balik Barangay Program.

Bulaon Resettlement Project was initiated in 1994 by the defunct Mt. Pinatubo Commission and the Provincial Government of Pampanga.

The community was built on a 79.9 hectare lot purchased by the MPC amounting P32 million and constructed the 4,049 housing units there.

The beneficiaries are from the municipalities of Bacolor, Minalin and San Fernando, who were directly affected by Mt. Pinatubo eruption and lahar flows.

In early 2002, the additional housing units were constructed at the Bulaon Resettlement Site by the Engineering Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to accommodate other victims cramped in evacuation centers particularly in Mexico, Pampanga.

Majority of the beneficiaries of the 640 housing units came from barangays Cabalantian, Cabambangan, San Antonio, Cabetican, San Vicente, Concepcion, Dolores, Duat, Maliwalu, Parulog and Balas of Bacolor.

GMA earmarks P5 billion for anti-poverty campaign

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today announced the launching of a P5-billion fund that would finance Kabalikat Laban Sa Kahirapan (Kalahi) for the next five years.

The President made the announcement during her keynote speech during the sectoral council meeting of the National Anti-Poverty Commission at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium.

The Kalahi program, an anti-poverty initiative of the President, assists the government in strengthening the capability of local government units (LGUs) to design, implement, and manage development activities. Such activities may include basic infrastructure like new or rehabilitated roads and bridges, barangay schools and clinics, and water supply and sanitation facilities.

“I am hereby announcing the launching of a P5 billion peso fund that will finance Kalahi for the next 5 years,” the President said.

The President said that this month, the government would be launching projects in 11 towns in 11 regions. Next week, she said she would be in Davao provinces to launch Kalahi projects.

She noted that in March, the government would be launching projects in 20 towns in the different regions. “Tuloy-tuloy ito dahil yung pondong 5 billion ay para sa limang taon (These projects would continue because the P5 billion fund is for five years),” she added.

The President said she wants the Kalahi project to be part of her legacy to the next administration. “Ako ang nagtanim, ang susunod na Pangulo ang mag-aani nitong mga programang ito (I planted the seeds but the next President would be the one who will reap the benefits),” she said.

The Chief Executive stressed that this is the attribute of a democracy.

She also noted that she has repeatedly said that she is not so ambitious as to want to become a great president. “I just want to be a good president.”

GMA announces release of P700 M coco levy

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today announced that on Monday, on the 2nd anniversary of Edsa 2, a check of P700 million from the coconut levy fund would be released.

The President made the announcement during the sectoral council of the National Anti-Poverty Commission at the Rizal Park Open air Auditorium.

“I hereby announce that this coming Monday, on the second anniversary of Edsa 2, a check of P700 million from the coconut levy fund would be released,” she said to the applause of the crowd.

The President’s announcement is a fulfillment of her first State of the Nation Address in 2001 that she will not stop efforts until the coconut farmers benefit from the coco levy fund.

“Hindi tayo hihinto habang hindi nakikinabang ang magniniyog sa Coco Levy Fund,” she said.

In her first SONA, the President said the government would be able to give more assistance to the coconut farmers once the case of the coconut levy fund is resolved.

Kapag naresolba ito, magagamit ang pondo para sa modernisasyon ng mga niyugan. Pinawalang bisa ko ang kautusan sa Coco Levy mula sa dating administrasyon upang hindi madehado ang magsasaka (If the case is resolved, we would be able to use the funds for the modernization of the coconut industry),” the President has said.

Source: Office of the Press Secretary

Office of the Press Secretary. (2003). [The President’s Day: January 18, 2003]. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20091017080251/http://www.news.ops.gov.ph/archives2003/jan18.htm