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7 MARCH 2009
RP TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT & EDUCATION
MANILA--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reiterated anew today her government’s resolve to improve the lives of the poor by continuing to invest in the three E’s ---economy, environment and education – as a strategy to help cushion the impact of the present global financial crunch, especially for those hardest hit by the crisis.
In her message during commemorative program this morning celebrating International Women’s Day in Malacanang, the President said the over-arching goal of the Arroyo administration is to eradicate poverty and protect its people.
“Women’s Day is one of those opportune times when government is reminded that we must continue to invest in what I call the three E’s -- economy, environment and education — and this includes such pro-poor programs as enhancement of access to health care, food, housing and education, as well as job creation,” the President said.
The biggest challenge today concerning the environment, the President said, is how to address climate change. The government, with the support of women organizations, she added, is doing its share in reducing carbon emissions.
“Solid waste management, including recycling, to which the government’s Linis Ganda project plays a big role, is one of our efforts to address climate change,” she said.
Regarding the economy, the President noted that despite the fact that the
Philippines is in a better position to weather the deepening global
financial crunch due to the tough economic reforms she has initiated, the
government continues to improve the economy by “making transformational
investments in physical and human infrastructures, not just to ease the
blow of a softening economy, but also to prepare ourselves for the
“And all the while, we are balancing the need to invest in the country amidst the global slowdown with the longer term fiscal objectives that we have been working hard to achieve over the last eight years,” she stressed.
The President explained that the fiscal stimulus program that will fast-track government spending in infrastructure and agricultural development, is also designed to create new job opportunities for those who lost their jobs as a result of the present economic meltdown.
She assured that safety nets are now in place aside from the enhanced social protection mechanisms installed to assist the poor weather the economic crisis impact. These include tax exemptions for minimum wage earners, doubled cash grant allocations for the poorest of the poor, increased funds for PhilHealth and more funds for skills training and retraining.
On education, the President said milestones have actually been achieved since the Philippines now tops in gender equality in terms of literacy rate and is among several countries leading in female enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary schools.
“The Philippines we see today is very different than the Philippines I inherited eight years ago. We now have a country that is safer and more secure. We have an economy that is stronger and able to withstand shocks such as what the global financial crisis is throwing at us,” President Arroyo said.
Today, she added, Filipino women have already made great contributions and have more to contribute to government efforts at addressing the global economic crisis and the threats of climate change.
“Napakalaki ng magagawa ng mga kababaihan upang mapagtagumpayan ang pagsubok na hinaharap ng bansa mula sa pandaigdigan krisis ng ekonomiya at climate change (Women can do a lot in our fight against the present global economic crisis and climate change), she intoned as she expressed hope the Filipino women will continue to be partners in development and progress.
International Women’s Day is observed March 8 every year throughout the
world. It is meant to pay special recognition for the economic, political
and social achievements and contributions of women to the further
enhancement of human welfare. (IMO)
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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