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PIA Press Release

PGMA wants residents to work on gov't projects

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur (17 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo instructed government agencies today to comply with Republic Act No. 6685 giving priority to residents of areas where government projects are being undertaken.

The President said it is imperative to simultaneously address the issues of generating employment from public works projects and making them transparent.

"I hereby instruct the agencies to comply with R.A. 6685," she said in her speech at the 55th Zamboanga del Sur anniversary celebration at the provincial government complex in Barangay Dao here.

R.A. 6685, according to the President, requires contractors to hire workers from among the residents of the province, town or barangay where the project is to be undertaken.

She said the twin objectives of generating jobs and instilling transparency in infrastructure projects can be met if beneficiaries themselves are the ones given the jobs.

"For the citizens and their government, this is a mutually beneficial partnership," the President said.

She pointed out that the people can get paid and thereby directly partake of the infrastructure spending while the government benefits not only from quality workmanship of stakeholders but also ensure that work meets specifications and timetable.

The President noted that the people will then have sweat and equity on government investment even as they earn from the public works construction "which are essentially a reimbursement for the taxes they pay."

She added that it would tap the bayanihan spirit of the people which has been "the animating force behind civic enterprises in the communities."

"Most important, honorable work by ordinary people will make contractors honor their commitments. This is the kind of people power we need, one that marshals grassroots industry to bring integrity to government projects," she stressed. (PIA) [top]

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