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PIA Press Release
2008/02/23

Commentary: PGMA is focused on the laser beam of the economy

Tacloban City (February 23) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said that she is "focused on the laser beam of the economy of the country. This is the President's answer to a local media practitioner's question on how she is taking the political hullabaloo in Manila.

The President said that the focusing on the economy paved way to the achievement of a 7.3 economic growth rate. Thus, the President stressed that "we must not allow other 'agenda' to destruct us from our focus."

President Arroyo dropped by Tacloban City in the province of Leyte on her way to Dolores, Eastern Samar where she is scheduled to see for herself, how the government will be able to help the flood-stricken town of Dolores, Eastern Samar which have been reported to be mostly affected by the flooding brought about by the continuous heavy rains that prevailed in the Region for many days this month of February.

The provinces of Eastern Visayas were greatly affected by the incessant heavy rains which caused flooding and landslide; and brought damage to lives, infrastructure and agriculture. Eastern Samar has been reported to have been isolated from Tacloban because of the destruction to roads and bridges.

At the VIP Lounge of the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City, the President had a brief interaction with the media. Aside from the media practitioners, hundreds of people from various municipalities of Leyte were at the airport to meet and show their support to the President.

Many of the local government leaders were also present: most of the Congressmen in Region 8 were there to meet the President, Leyte Congressmen Martin Romualdez, Ebbie Apostol, Andres Salvacion Jr.; Samar Congressmen Reynaldo Uy and Sharie Ann Tan; Southern Leyte Congressman Damian Mercado; and Biliran Congressman Glenn Chong, and Waray Party List Congressman Bembem Noel.

Also present to meet the President were Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, LMP Leyte President Roque Tiu and other local and regional government officials.

National Officials present were PA for Eastern Visayas Victor Domingo, PAGCOR Vice President Remedios L. Petilla, Commissioner Aurel Menzon, and Sec. Serge Apostol who came in with DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral came in with the President.

The President was scheduled to be with the media for 15 minutes only but this was extended as the President pleasantly accommodated the other questions from the local media. (PIA 8) [top]

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