Commentary: PGMA attendance in Beijing Olympics a moral booster to Filipino athletes
By Venus May H. Sarmiento
Pangasinan (6 August) -- The President's attendance in the Beijing Olympics will give the biggest moral booster to the 15 athletes who will represent the Philippines.
The Filipino athletes are all excited over the President's attendance and support for them and the participation of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao as the country's official flag bearer.
The President has added P4.5 million to the cash pot for the Filipino gold medal winner in the Beijing Olympics, raising the total prize to P15 million.
Presidential Management Staff Chief Cerge Remonde said the President's attendance in the World Games is part of her official obligation as one of the 80 heads of state invited to the event.
But more than just gracing the Olympic Games, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will also hold bilateral talks with Chines President Hu Jintao during her August 7-10 trip to China.
Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the bilateral meeting would be a big opportunity to strengthen trade and economic cooperation between the Philippines and China and expand the two countries' two-way investment.
Lower oil price in int'l market
Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to ensure that the downtrend in world oil prices will immediately benefit the public in the form of lower prices of the socially-sensitive commodity.
Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the President directed the Department of Energy to undertake the audit of oil and power companies to ensure they are fully compliant with the Oil Deregulation Law.
Dureza said the President wants the local consumers to immediately feel the benefit now that the international market has reduced the price of oil.
Presidential Management Chief Cerge Remonde who was also present during the cabinet meeting, said the President also wants the claim of oil and power companies of 'under recoveries' verified through strict auditing procedures.
Earlier in Bayambang town, this province, the Department of Energy launched the 'Palit-Ilaw sa Barangay' activity as part of the SWITCH project launched by President Arroyo last month for a more cost-saving and environment- friendly lighting facility.
The project aims to do away with incandescent bulbs which consume more electricity than compact fluorescent lights. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]