Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Philippine leader calls on people to do "Bayanihan"

President Benigno Aquino III. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday called on the people of Northern Mindanao to continue tapping into the spirit of “Bayanihan” that runs in the blood of the Filipinos in order to finally lift the country, back to its rightful place under the daylight.

Aquino sounded the call during his visit in Cayagan de Oro City, his first time to come, since he was sworn to office on June 30, 2010.

Recalling his campaign, the President said he promised the Filipino people a government of reforms to put an end to corruption that has been so prevalent in the years leading up to his election.

He also said he promised a government that does its job, one that is not allergic to the word “overtime,” and one that puts the interests of the Filipino people on the forefront of every single project.

“We are delivering on these promises now and this has redounded to significant improvements in many areas of concern, especially, our economy,” he said.

For all of these, President Aquino said his administration now is continuing to do a number of initiatives to foster a business environment that attracts even more investments and leads to even more growth.

Among these initiatives are the cutting of bureaucratic red tape that has plagued businesses in the Philippines for so long, the reassessment of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax ruling processes and the reduction of requirements for bidding at the Department of Public Works and Highways from 15 documents to just eight.

But what really counts is the change in the way the people live, as favorable economic numbers must lead to feeding the hungry, tending to the sick, and sending children to school, Aquino said.

“Our job is to make sure that our economic growth is felt by each and every Filipino. It is as tangible as adequate food on the table, fully-equipped hospitals that treat our sick and accurately written books that our children can read and learn from,” he said.

The President also said that he has allocated larger budget to poverty alleviation projects, such as conditional cash transfers, more than doubling its reach to 2.3 million families, now.

By helping families help themselves, we are ensuring that their children are going to school, their babies vaccinated and mothers are kept healthy through regular check-ups, he said.

Aquino was here to attend the meeting of the Joint Philippine Economic Briefing and Regional Development Council with officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas held at the Mallberry Suites Business Hotel.

He also graced the awarding and distribution of certificates at the Oro Christian Grace School, this city, for the region’s beneficiaries under various government programs. (Rutchie Aguhob)

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