Let's welcome 2009 with great hope - Yap
Cotabato City (6 February) -- The end of an old year is a moment for reflection, and the beginning of a new year is a time for optimism.
As we are under the clouds of global economic uncertainties, these are the things we need to embrace now.
The world economy is in the verge of a financial crisis Two-thirds of the world's economies is in recession.
In the US and Europe, tens of thousands of workers have been laid off, as business slowdown. And it is expected that they will import less from other countries, such as the Philippines.
Luckily for us, Filipinos, we are not yet eling the pinch. In fact, there is very reason to believe tht the Philippines will be able to weather the financial storm far better than others. But, we have to brace up for the storm, so speak.
We are confident that we can confront our present difficulties, and prevail, just as we have prevailed over more difficult problems in the past.
In particular, we have survived the Asian financial crunch that caused upheaval in the region's financial and credit markets in 1997, and used it as apportunity to take fundamental macroeconomic reforms to lessen, if not completely avoid, future shocks.
In fact, the International Monetary Fund said that while the Philiipines is "not immune" to the financial crisis, it is "less vulnerable to it because of the fiscal and other reforms it has undertaken in the past several years."
However, the relative strength and resilience of our people and our economy are still no consolation to average Filipino families.
Hence, to help insulate our poor country men from price shock and economic pressure, President Gloria Macapagl-Arroyo has instructed us at the Department of Agriculture and other government agencies to invest more this year in food production, rural infrastructure, social welfare, poverty alleviation, health and education, among others.
Thus, translating President Arroyo's directives, the DA family's core strategy for the future will revolve around four fundamental goals.
- Ensure national food security and sufficiency
- Work for the prosperity of our prosperity of our farmers and fisheries
- Improve the competitiveness of farm and fishery products; and
- Ensure the sustainability of socio-economic progress in the countryside through rural infrastructure investments.
Therefore, we should be determined to emerge victorous over these times. We musk keep our resolve to work hard, and overcome each hurdle-united by a single heritage, and a common responsibility for our nation's future.
Let's continue to move in unison and act efficiently and solidly on behalf of the Filipino people, to whom we hold ourselves acoountable. Satements of Atty. Arthur C. Yap, Secretary, Department of Agriculture. (Rafid-ARMM/MCD-PIA Cot City) [top]