PGMA says she will invest on infra and social services in next 3 years
by Babes Jacob-Rebultan
Cagayan de Oro City (1 September) -- "IN the next three years of my term, we will invest in our country and our people on infrastructure and social services," said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during a nationwide live interview over radio station dxCC of the Radio Mindanao Network Inc. when she led its 55th founding anniversary celebration in Cagayan de Oro City, August 28.
The President told anchors RMN president Eric Canoy and dzXL news director Ira Panganiban that she wants to translate the positive results of the government's economic reforms into real benefits for the people.
"On infra, we are investing on Laguindingan (International) Airport, because infra is what will make business invest, that will generate jobs, then more jobs means less poverty," she explained.
Stressing her desire to spend more on social services, President Arroyo said she informed Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar S. Moreno that she wants to turn the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro into a Kidney, Lung and Heart Center so that patients will no longer go to Manila to seek treatment.
She added that Kidney, Lung and Heart Centers will also be established at the Davao Medical Center, Bicol Regional Training Hospital in Legaspi, and Vicento Sotto Memorial Hospital in Cebu.
President Arroyo also expressed her intention to continue spending more on health insurance, especially in providing subsidies on PhilHealth Insurance for indigent families.
The President likewise announced she would upscale government assistance to the 10 poorest provinces in the country with the continued implementation of the Food for School program, as well as educational support as tools in fighting poverty.
Under the Food for School Program, little school children will be given one kilo of rice to be brought home so that the family will be able to eat and the school children will be encouraged to go to school, the President explained.
She said she would push educational support as a means to fight poverty, stressing that education is the most important way to graduate from poverty.
President Arroyo also announced building better school buildings to make sure that at the grade school level, the quality of education will be improved.
"We will have two shifts and each shift will have 50 students to one classroom," she said.
As part of educational support, the government will continue to provide more textbooks to students, including teaching materials, the President said, emphasizing that every student should have one textbook for Math, Science and English.
She said she wants teachers and school administrators to undergo more training.
"Teachers should be given more training in English for them to be competitive and so that they could teach good English to their students," she added.
President Arroyo at the same time said she wants to cut down on red tape, to continue eliminating corruption from the system, and to fight terrorism to bring peace and prosperity to Mindanao.
When asked about her presence in the city's observance of the National Heroes Day last August 27, she said it was the day when we honored, not only our national heroes, but also our contemporary, present-day heroes right here in Mindanao.
Soldiers and policemen who fought and made lots of sacrifices against terrorists, rebels, and criminals were honored on that day, the President said.
President Arroyo awarded the Gold Cross Medal and the Medalya ng Kagalingan to the Marines and soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and personnel of the Philippine National Police, who were either killed or wounded in Basilan and other conflict areas in Mindanao, in fitting ceremonies at the Xavier University gym in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Gold Cross Medal/Medalya ng Kagalingan (PNP Medal of Merit) is given to deserving soldiers and policemen for their conspicuous acts of courage and gallantry in action. It is the highest state of discipline worthy of emulation by the officers and men of the AFP and PNP.
"We very strongly keep the war on terror because of the heroism of our soldiers and policemen and the layer of the terrorists is becoming narrower because our grasp on peace in Mindanao is becoming wider," the President said. (PIA-MisOrOccCam) [top]