State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2007 – Pres. Arroyo

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye gave insights on what President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will discuss on her SONA which she will deliver before a joint session of Congress on July 23.

The President is said to talk about: her vision of the Philippines as first world in 20 years, and what she would be doing in the next three years to achieve the vision, an update on what government has so far achieved in terms of the Super Regions infrastructure framework that she unveiled in her 2006 SONA, a central theme sustaining a strong economy and investing in human capital and physical infrastructure, enumerate what the doables are this year towards making the country more competitive and more attractive for investors, cover the subject of waging peace in Mindanao, which should cover not just the fight against terror, but also the development initiatives to realize the full potential of Mindanao, give an update on the infrastructure projects she outlined in her Sona last year and will announce reforms and investments in education and social services. According to Bunye, the President herself writes and rewrites her Sona in her laptop computer and the final version is completed only a few minutes before she boards her vehicle to Congress.

Update: Download the full text of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s SONA 2007 (pdf file) (7pm July 23)

Lazada Philippines

President of the Republic of the Philippines
Her Excellency
JULY 23, 2007

Thank you. Thank you very much Speaker De Venecia, Senate
President Villar, other newly elected leaders of both Houses,
congratulations to you, Senators and Congressmen and
Congresswomen. Vice President De Castro, former President Ramos,
Chief Justice Puno, our host Mayor, Mayor Sonny Belmonte, other
government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, ladies and
We meet here today to inaugurate a new Congress after a fresh
election. I congratulate every elected official, from municipal to
provincial to Congress on hard fought and successful campaigns.
Tapos na ang halalan at pamumulitika; panahon na para maglingkod
nang walang damot, mamuno nang walang pangamba maliban sa
kagalingan ng bayan, and to govern with wisdom, compassion, vision
and patriotism.
Hangarin kong mapabilang ang Pilipinas sa mayayamang bansa sa loob
ng dalawampung taon. By then poverty shall have been marginalized;
and the marginalized raised to a robust middle class.
We will have achieved the hallmarks of a modern society, where
institutions are strong.
By 2010, the Philippines should be well on its way to achieving that
With the tax reforms of the last Congress, and I thanked the last
Congress, we have turned around our macroeconomic condition
through fiscal discipline, toward a balanced budget. Binabayaran ang
utang, pababa ang interes, at paakyat ang pondo para sa progreso ng
sambayanang Pilipino!!! Maraming salamat ulit sa nakaraang
We have been investing hundreds of billions in human and physical
infrastructure. The next three years will see record levels of well
thought out and generous funding for the following priorities:
First, investments in physical, intellectual, legal and security
infrastructure to increase business confidence. Imprastraktura para sa
negosyo at trabaho. Isang milyong trabaho taon-taon.
Second, investments in a stronger and wider social safety net –
murang gamot, abot-kayang pabahay, eskwelang primera klase, mga
gurong mas magaling at mas malaki ang kita, mga librong de-kalidad,
more scholarships for gifted students, and language instruction to
maintain our lead in English proficiency. Dunong at kalusugan ang susi
sa kasaganaan.
Third, investments in bringing peace to Mindanao; in crushing
terrorism wherever it threatens regardless of ideology; and in putting
a stop to human rights abuses whatever the excuse.
We pay tribute to the fearless fourteen who were savagely massacred
at Tipo-Tipo trying to pursue a peaceful and progressive Philippines.
We will not disappoint their hopes. We will not waste their sacrifice. We
will not be swayed from the course we have set in this conflict for
peace with justice throughout our land.
We have created a Philippine model for reconciliation built on inter-
faith dialogue, expanded public works and more responsive social
services. These investments show both sides in the Mindanao conflict
that they have more at stake in common; and a greater reason to be
together than hang apart, including being together isolating the
Imprastraktura ang haliging nagtitindig hindi lamang ng kapayapaan
kundi ng ating buong makabagong ekonomiya: mga kalsada, tulay,
paliparan, public parks and power plants.
Last year I unveiled the Super Regions – Mindanao, Central Philippines,
North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, Luzon Urban Beltway and the
Cyber Corridor – to spread development away from an inequitable
concentration in Metro Manila. Hindi lamang Maynila ang Pilipinas.
The Super Regions was not a gimmick for the occasion but the
blueprint for building a future.
In Mindanao, our food basket, I said we would prioritize agribusiness
investments. And I am happy to see that the latest survey in June
shows the hunger rate has sharply gone down nationwide. We have
done that.
The Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Environment
and Natural Resources will devote 30 percent of their program budgets
to Mindanao. DAR will move to Davao.
Dapat maging daan sa tagumpay sa agribusiness ang reporma sa lupa.
Done right, reform will democratize success, as Ramon Magsaysay and
Diosdado Macapagal envisioned.
We must reform agrarian reform so it can transform beneficiaries into
agribusinessmen and other agribusiness women.
Sa gayon, dadami pa ang mga tampok na magsasaka gaya ng mga
nagwagi ng Gawad Saka, sina Ananias Cuado ng Comval at Demetrio
Tabelon ng Butuan; at Nelson Taladhay ng Sultan Kudarat,
pangunahing agrarian reform beneficiary ng 2007. We also have
outstanding farmers from the other superregions, like Joseph Fernando
and Heherson Pagulayan, Nestor Bautista, Joseph Lomibao, Arturo
Marcaida, Peter Uy, Arturo Pasacas and Glenn Saludar.
Sa anim na taon nagtayo tayo at nag-ayos ng patubig para sa isang
milyong ektarya sa buong bansa – pinakamalaki sa matagal na
Magtatayo tayo ng mariculture o palaisdaan sa dagat. Isa rito ay
ilalagay natin sa Sibutu. Hiling ito ni Nur Jaafar.
Para sa buong bansa naglaan tayo ng P3 billion para sa tatlong libong
kilometro ng farm to market roads. Sanlibong kilometro sa Mindanao.
Gawa na ang tatlong daan.
The road and RORO network has cut the cost of bringing agribusiness
products from Mindanao to Luzon. A 10-wheeler used to pay P32
thousand from Dapitan to Batangas. Now it pays P11 thousand. Fresh
fish that cost P20 thousand a ton to move, now travels at P14
Construction is criss-crossing Mindanao: Dapitan-Dakak to bring Cely
Carreon’s paradise closer to civilization; Sibuco-Siraway-Siocon-
Baliguian; Dinagat Island Network, a baptismal gift for Glenda Ecleo’s
new province; the 66-kilometer Manay-Mati section of Davao-Surigao;
and Maguindanao-Lebak, Sim Datumanong’s brainchild when he
headed DPWH.
We want better airports, new bridges and ample energy for Mindanao’s
rising economy.
The Dipolog and Pagadian airports will be improved by year’s end. Also
the Cotabato airport. No doubt eagerly awaited by Au Cerilles, Rolando
Yebes, Digs Dilangalen, Ros Labadlabad and Victor Yu, and Mayors
Evelyn Uy and Sammy Co.
Last July 10 we inaugurated the P1.7 billion, 900 meter bridge in
Butuan, built on the initiative of Mayor Boy Daku Plaza, near the P4
billion second-generation flood control project that we also built. The
first was built by my father after the great Butuan flood of the 1960’s.
Kailangan ipagtanggol ang kapaligiran at mamamayan sa sakuna.
In Agusan del Norte, I hope Edel Amante will be happy with our plans
to pilot micro agribusiness in Jabonga.
On July 8, Ozamis Airport opened, bankrolled partly by Leo Ocampos,
Aldo Parojinog and Hermie Ramiro’s congressional fund. Now, that’s
the kind of pork that has good cholesterol.
At that occasion the MOU was signed for the Pangil Bay Bridge that will
connect Ozamis to Lanao del Norte and Iligan. As urged by Bobby
Dimaporo, I declared Mt. Inayawan Range a protected nature park. On
Mayor Lawrence Cruz’s recommendation, I instruct DPWH to build the
Iligan Circumferential Road.
In 2001, we opened a solar plant in Cagayan de Oro. Still, Mindanao
faced a 100-megawatt gap by 2009 out now a 210-megawatt clean
coal plant in Phividec will fill that gap. We count on Oca Moreno and
Tinex Jaraula to continue providing a good investment climate.
We thank Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Migz Zubiri for sponsoring the
Biofuels Law in the last Congress. We now have 160 thousand hectares
of jatropha nurseries in Bukidnon and 30,000 in General Santos.
Jatropha is a 100% substitute for diesel, with only 5% of its emission.
Mindanao’s energy challenge lies not in generating power but in power
lines. Terrorists target transmission towers. We must resolutely apply
the Human Security Act. This act was first filed by Johnny Enrile in
1996, 3 years after the first World Trade Center bombing, 4 years
before the Rizal Day bombing and 5 years before 9/11. He ably crafted
the final Senate version with Senate President Manny Villar and Nene
Let’s now go to Central Philippines, our tourism super region:
* We protect its natural wonders and provide the means to travel to
those wonders.
* For Boracay, the leading overall destination, the Kalibo Airport is now
international with an instrument landing system as we said last year.
Next is an P80 million terminal on request of Joben Miraflores.
* The Aklan-Libertad-Pandan Road, waiting for Japan to approve the
contractors, will connect Boracay to the nature park we declared in
Northwest Panay Peninsula. We are improving other Panay roads and
building the road from the Iloilo Airport which we inaugurated in Santa
Barbara to Iloilo and the Metro Radial Road that Mayor Jerry Treñas
asked for when we inaugurated the airport, Art Defensor conceived the
airport when he was governor, Governor Niel Tupaz midwifed its
delivery when we inaugurated the airport, I said …
* Iloilo connects to Guimaras via Jordan Wharf. We thank Congress for
the P900 million oil spill calamity fund to save the environment of
Guimaras. I thank once again the previous Congress. It is back on its
feet. The other side of the island will connect to Bacolod soon because
we started building the Sibunag RORO Port last May on
recommendation of Governor, now Congressman, Rahman Nava.
* Bacolod-Silay Airport, near the nature park we declared in Northern
Negros, is completed and just awaiting the access road requested by
Monico Puentevella.
* We awarded the contract for upgrading the Dumaguete airport as I
reported to George Arnaiz last week.
* Boracay investors are expanding in Palawan, whose Tubbataha Reefs
we declared a nature park. After the Puerto Princesa-Roxas Road last
year, we opened Taytay-El Nido in March. The P1 billion Taytay-Roxas
section is ongoing. San Vicente airstrip and Busuanga Airport are
under construction. And Mayor Hagedorn is reminding us to work on
the Puerto Princesa terminal.
* Under construction are airport aprons of the surfing edens: Governor
Ben Evardone’s pet project in Guiuan and Lalo Matugas’s home town in
* A 100-megawatt energy gap looms in the Visayas in 2009. The
Korea Electric plant in Cebu will plug in 200 megawatts only in 2010 so
there’s a one year gap. Meantime three power barges will supply 100
megawatts and the Panay diesel power plant will increase its run from
70 megawatts to 100.
* In Central Cebu, we proclaimed a nature park. From Cebu, the top
destination for foreign tourists, they can easily radiate to other
destinations. Optimism is infectious, and opportunity irresistible.
Progress follows progress. Someone, even government, just has to get
it started.
* Going south, Cebu connects to Tubigon and on to Ubay, Jagna and
Panglao through the Bohol Circumferential Road that we inaugurated
last May 9. The local government has acquired 85 percent of the land
for the international airport on Panglao Island, now a tourism
destination of its own.
* Ubay links to Maasin RORO Port which was completed last October.
Now I hope there will be more divers for Mian Mercado.
* Jagna RORO Port opened last May 9. It will connect to Loloy
Romualdo’s Mambajao in November, and on to Guinsiliban, the
gateway to Mindanao.
* Going north from Cebu City, we take the North Coastal Road to
Daanbantayan which was recommended to us by Gwen Garcia. Heavy
traffic will ease when the P1.2 billion Mandaue-Consolacion Bridge
opens. This will be good not only for Malapascua tourism but also for
Nitoy Durano’s industrial city of Danao.
* Daanbantayan, Benhur Salimbangon’s home port, connects to Naval,
Maripipi, or Esperanza, which started construction last May. We aim to
finish all three RORO Ports next year.
* Esperanza will link by road to Aroroy in 2009. I’ll be there with Lina
Seachon and Tony Kho for the inauguration. Please invite me.
* Last May, I switched on the lights of Masbate in a Palace ceremony.
But the long-term solution will come next year when a new power
plant will serve half a million customers on the beautiful but isolated
island of Masbate.
* From Aroroy we can go to Claveria, whose RORO ramp is under
construction. On to Pasacao where RORO operations started in 2002.
That’s Bong Bravo of Claveria. This brings us to Bicol, including Mt
Isarog Park.
* Mt. Isarog feeds the Bicol River. For the next three years we are
funding the Bicol River Basin and Watershed with the World Bank at
$15 million for irrigation, flood control and water conservation. For
Bicol, we have given P7 billion for the Bicol Calamity and Rehabilitation
Effort, that is the biggest one-time calamity fund release in our history.
At last, Bicol is getting its rightful share.
And, so is the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle:
* We are building 1,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads; 200 are
done. Ngayong tapos na ang election ban, pinapaspasan ang trabaho
para sa nalalabing target.
* Halsema Highway from Mount Data to Bontoc and the Tabuk-
Tinglayan Road are being built. If you look the chart, there is
something incomplete in between.
* So that the Cordillera LGUs can build more of their much-needed
roads, I ask Congress to require companies to pay directly to the LGUs
their share of the natural wealth. I hope, Governor Dalog hears that.
* Nagtatayo tayo ng mga paliparan para sa mga produkto ng
* Noong 2005 nagka-airport sa Baler. Sunod ang airport sa Casiguran.
At kalsada sa pagitan.
* There were no takers in the bidding for to upgrade the Batanes
runways so ATO will get it done before the end of the year with the
support of DPWH and Governor Telesforo Castillejos.
* Joe de Venecia and Mayor Nani Braganza are asking for an airport in
Alaminos. Will do.
* The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and the private sector
expanded the San Vicente naval airstrip, so we don’t have need to
build Lallo.
* Sa Lallo naman mayroon tayong inaprobahan na agribusiness
ecozone. Ang mga agribusiness ecozone ay payo ni Pangulong Ramos.
Chief Justice Puno, I am happy to see you here. It is the first time that
a Chief Justice attended.
* The Tarlac-La Union Toll Road will be advertised for private sector
BOT bidding this August.
* Poro Point’s international terminal started construction early this
year. The Bagabag airport is being lengthened. We are spreading the
cheer across the political spectrum from Vic Ortega to Caloy Padilla.
Inuuna ang bansa, at itinatabi ang politika.
* Some towns in Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Isabela are included in
the geo-hazard mapping we have done for 700 cities and towns all
over the country to protect the environment.
* The Bangui Bay Wind Power Project which was put up when
Bongbong Marcos was governor, is now expanding. Sa paggamit ng
hangin, nababawasan ang kailangang langis sa enerhiya.
And now the Luzon Urban Beltway, our top magnet for industry and
* This quarter we start the P5 billion Mt. Pinatubo Hazard Urgent
Mitigation Project that will protect San Fernando City, Sasmuan,
Guagua and my home town Lubao from flooding.
* The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Express Road is in its final stages. This first-
world road will cut travel time between Clark and Subic from two hours
to 30 minutes. Gagawa tayo ng interchange sa Porac, bayan ni Lito
* Last Thursday with Dick Gordon we inaugurated the container port
that will make Subic together with Clark one of the best international
service and logistics centers in the region.
* Clark airport got its approach control radar in April. It now has 50
international flights and 50 cargo flights a week, the second busiest
after NAIA. We want more airline service centers there. Now, speaking
of NAIA, I’m sure everyone wants to know about NAIA Terminal 3. The
ceiling that fell wasn’t the only thing in danger of falling. There are
more serious dangers from construction and structural defects. We
cannot risk the grim consequences of a major earthquake. But NAIA is
accelerating the remediation, completion and opening of the terminal.
Public safety comes first.
* Since public safety comes first, I ask Congress to create the Civil
Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
* Last year, I said we would connect North and South Expressways
through C-5. Ginagawa na ang C-5 bandang Katipunan. Kausap na ang
UP para sa bagong daan patungong Commonwealth, na kasulukuyang
pinapalapad at North Avenue. Sa kabilang dulo ng Mindanao Avenue,
binibili na ang lupa para sa bagong daan mula Barangay Talipapa
hanggang Malinta at tuloy sa NLEX. Sana bumawas ang trapik pa-
North Manila.
* We just broke ground to continue the Skyway up to Alabang. In a
year the fast train from Caloocan to Alabang will be serving thousands
daily. From Alabang to Santo Tomas the South Luzon Expressway is
currently being widened. And by March, Ricky Reyes SLEX will reach
Batangas Port.
* The Coastal Road to Bong Revilla’s province is finally under
* Our investment in vital infrastructure is already bearing fruit, such as
the $1-billion Hanjin shipbuilding facility, said to be the largest in the
world, and the $1-billion Texas Instruments microchip plant in Clark.
Maging ex-OFW at ex-tambay kapwang nakahanap ng trabaho sa mga
malalaking puhunan na ito.
* As we build industry, we must ensure people have clean air to
breathe. We have closed 88 firms for polluting the environment. Gaya
ng sabi ko, una ang kaligatasan ng publiko.
* We proclaimed a critical habitat within the coastal lagoon of Las
Pinas and Paranaque.
* Maynilad’s new owners have invested P7 billion to bring clean and, at
last, running water to Paranaque, Parola and elsewhere. Manila Water
did a similar P2 billion project for Antipolo.
* Gumagawa tayo ng septage tank sa Antipolo sa halagang P600
million na maglilinis ng sewage bago ito dumaloy sa mga estero, gaya
ng tinayo ng Manila Water sa Taguig at sa San Mateo.
* Matapos ang maraming taong usapan, ang ating administrasyon ang
nakapagsimula ng Flood Control Project sa Kalookan, Malabon,
Navotas at Valenzuela (CAMANAVA).
* On energy, Luzon needs 150 megawatts more by 2010. This is
covered by the 350-megawatt, $350 million expansion of the Pagbilao
plant by Marubeni and Tokyo Electric, part of their $4 billion that
constitutes the biggest Japanese investment in Philippine history.
* We count on the Governor Raffy Nantes and the people of Quezon to
somehow to reduce the cost of electricity. I ask Congress to amend the
Electric Power Industry Reform Act for open access and more
The Cyber Corridor encompasses centers of technology and learning
running the length of all the super regions, from Baguio to Clark to
Metro Manila to Cebu to Davao and neighboring areas.
The Philippines ranks among top off-shoring hubs in the world because
of cost competitiveness and more importantly our highly trainable,
English proficient, IT-enabled management and manpower.
IT ability won for Warren Ambat of Baguio City High the most
innovative teacher and leadership award in Cambodia last February,
topping contestants from 70 countries, congratulations to our
contestants, women.
Information technology will help the BIR bring in more taxes in the
coming months. Its Revenue Watch Dashboard will monitor revenue
collections in real time from the national level down to the examiners.
The LGU Revenue Assurance shares information between the BIR and
the LGUs to uncover fraud and non-payment, before heads would roll
per Danny Suarez’s Attrition Law.
While our strength in contact centers is well-established, we are now
focused on growing the higher value-added services, including
accounting, legal, human resources and administrative services.
And, so that no Taiwan tremor can cut off our cyber services from their
global clients, PLDT and Globe are investing P47 billion in new
international broadband links through other regional hubs for
redundancy in our cyber space.
The business services sector has become the fastest growing in the
economy providing 400,000 jobs compared to 8,000 in 2000. By 2010
the forecast is one million jobs earning $12 billion, the same amount
remitted by our overseas Filipinos today.
On Safety Net and Education
Last year I said that in today’s global economy, knowledge is the
greatest creator of wealth. Mahusay na edukasyon ang
pinakamabuting pamana natin sa ating mga anak. Yun din ang tanging
pamana na ayon sa batas kailangang ibigay sa bawat mamamayan.
This year, we are investing more for education: P150 billion, P29
billion more than last year.
And, last year government and private sector built 15,000 classrooms
instead of the usual 6,000.
Noon, isang libro bawat limang mag-aaral. Ngayon, tig-isang aklat na
bawat grade schooler.
One third of our public high schools now have Internet access, with
private sector support.
We have a scarcity of public high schools but a surplus of private high
schools. So instead of building more high schools, we give more high
school scholarships – 600,000 scholars this year.
For college, we launched a P4 billion fund for college loans, to increase
beneficiaries from 40,000 to 200,000.
And for teachers, we have created more than 50,000 teaching
positions. But we have to improve their training.
Benefits, too. Salamat, dating Senador Tessie Oreta at dating
Congressman Dodong Gullas, na di na kailangan ng mga guro
maghabol sa Maynila ng sweldo at pension. Pinoproseso na sa rehiyon
sa regionalization ng payroll.
Teachers and all other national government employees get a raise
effective end of this month.
Sa TESDA, bukod sa mga sariling kurso nagbibigay ito ng mga
scholarship sa vocational schools: P600 million noong isang taon, P1
billion ngayon. May P1 bilyon pa ang DOLE.
We are investing P3 billion in science and engineering research and
development technology, including scholarships for masters and
doctoral degrees programs in engineering in seven universities.
Upgrade know-how and learning, and Filipino talent is unbeatable.
Proof is biochemist Baldomero Olivera of the University of Utah who
was named Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation.
In the International Math and Science Olympiad 2006 in Jakarta,
Robert Buendia of Cavite Central School and Wilson Alba of San Beda
Alabang won the gold. Congratulations, guys.
Six Filipinos bagged the awards at the Intel Young Scientists
Competition in New Mexico last May: Ivy Ventura, Mara Villaverde,
Hester Mana Umayam and Janine Santiago of Philippine Science High;
Melvin Barroa of Capiz National High, congratulations, Melvin; and
Luigi John Suarez of Benedicto National High.
Congratulations naman. Last week Filipino students topbilled by Amiel
Sy of the Philippine Science High dominated the Mathematics World
Contest in Hong Kong. Congratulations, Amiel. Congratulations
Philippine Science High School. Earlier this month Diona Aquino of the
Presidential Management Staff won with her team from UP the Youth
Innovation Competition on Global Governance in Shanghai.
Ito ay malaking kunsuwelo sa atin. We have spent more on human
capital formation than ever in the past. Why? Because if government
of the people and by the people is not for them as well, it is a mockery
of democracy.
May malaking pag-angat ang kalagayan ng maralita, gaya ng trabaho,
pag-aaral at pagamot. Look at the chart on new poor fare.
Sa unang pagkakataon, gumastos ang Philhealth ng higit P3 bilyon sa
paospital ng maralita.
Noong 2001 sinabi kong hahatiin natin ang presyo ng gamot na
madalas bilhin ng madla. Ngayon sampung libong Botika ng Barangay
ang nagtitinda ng murang gamot. Ang paracetamol na tatlong piso sa
labas ay piso lamang sa Botika ng Barangay. Ang antibiotic na
binibenta ng mga pangunahing parmasya sa P20 ay P2 lamang.
Kaya sa isang survey, halos kalahati ang nagsabing abot-kaya ang
gamot, kumpara sa 11% noong 1999.
So we can spread this even more, I ask Congress to pass the Cheaper
Medicines Bill that was almost enacted in June. Almost is not good
enough. Let’s help Mar Roxas, Ferge Biron and Teddy Boy Locsin give
our people meaningful, affordable choices, from abroad and here in the
I also ask Congress to pass legislation that brings improved long term
care for our senior citizens. Asahan natin si Ed Angara.
Si Noli de Castro na isa pang kampeon ng senior citizens ay
namumuno ng ating programa sa pabahay. Congratulations, Noli. The
low interest rates for housing are unprecedented. Naglaan ang Pag-
IBIG ng P25 billion na pautang, six times the amount when we started
it in 2001. P50 billion pa ang ilalaan hanggang 2010.
On Terrorism and Human Rights
We fight terrorism. It threatens our sovereign, democratic,
compassionate and decent way of life.
Therefore, in the fight against lawless violence, we must uphold these
values. It is never right and always wrong to fight terror with terror.
I ask Congress…I urge you to enact laws to transform state response
to political violence: First, laws to protect witnesses from lawbreakers
and law enforcers. Second, laws to guarantee swift justice from more
empowered special courts. Third, laws to impose harsher penalties for
political killings. Fourth, laws reserving the harshest penalties for the
rogue elements in the uniformed services who betray public trust and
bring shame to the greater number of their colleagues who are
We must wipe this stain from our democratic record.
Ngunit pangunahin pakikibaka pa rin para sa karapatan ang
pagpapalaya ng masa sa gutom at kahirapan.
Together with economic prosperity is the need to strengthen our
institutions of government. Let’s start with election reform. We have
long provided funds for computerization. We look forward to the
modernization of voting, counting and canvassing.
We can disagree on political goals but never on the conduct of
democratic elections. I ask Congress to fund poll watchdogs. And to
enact a stronger law against election-related violence.
We must weed out corruption and build a strong system of justice that
the people can trust. We have provided unprecedented billions for anti-
graft efforts. Thus the Ombudsman’s conviction rate hit 77% this year,
from 6% in 2002. We implemented lifestyle checks, dormant for half a
century. Taun-taon dose-dosenang opisyal ang nasususpinde,
napapatalsik o kinakasuhan dahil labis-labis sa suweldo ang gastos at
ari-arian nila.
Firms who were asked for bribes in taxes, permits and licenses
dropped from one-third to one-half. Contract bribes are also down.
Graft won’t be eliminated overnight but we are making progress.
In Conclusion:
What I have outlined today is just a sampler of our P1.7 trillion
Medium Term Public Investment Program. How will we fund all these?
P1 trillion from state revenues, with tax reforms and firm orders to BIR
and Customs to hit their targets. P300 billion from state corporations.
The balance from government financial institutions, private sector
investments, local government equity and our bilateral and multilateral
Our new confidence and momentum for progress have imbued our
foreign relations, with the ASEAN Summit last year and the coming
ASEAN Regional Forum, with increased assistance from our allies and
with continued support for our peace and security efforts in Mindanao.
We were able to strengthen our economy because of the fiscal reforms
that we adopted at such great cost to me in public disapproval. But I
would rather be right than popular.
Our fundamentals are paying off in huge leaps in investment. Anim na
milyong trabaho ang nalikha sa anim na taon, most in sustainable
enterprises. Sa lakas ng piso, bumagal ang pagtaas ng bilihin.
It is my ardent wish that most of the vision I have outlined will be fully
achieved when I step down. It is my unshakeable resolve that the
fundamentals of this vision will by then be permanently rooted, its
progress well advanced and its direction firmly fixed with our reforms
already bearing fruit. All that will remain for my successor is to gather
the harvest. He or she will have an easier time of it than I did.
They say the campaign for the next election started on May 15, the
day after the last. Fine.
I stand in the way of no one’s ambition. I only ask that no one stand in
the way of the people’s well being and the nation’s progress.
The time for facing off is over. The time is here for facing forward to a
better future our people so desperately want and richly deserve.
Uulitin ko: Hindi ako sagabal sa ambisyon ninuman.
But make no mistake. I will not stand idly when anyone gets in the
way of the national interest and tries to block the national vision. From
where I sit, I can tell you, a President is always as strong as she wants
to be.
Pagpalain tayo ng Diyos at ang dakilang gawaing hinaharap natin. The
state of the nation is strong. Inyong lingkod, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,
Pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas.

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