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PIA Press Release

PGMA calls city mayors to join hands vs. global economic crisis

Manila (19 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on the city mayors to join hands in dealing with the present global economic crisis that has spread and jeopardized the well being of people across the globe.

Addressing before the 2nd National Convention of the League of the Cities of the Philippines (LCP) at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel in Mandaluyong City, the President said this is the time for national and local leaders to forge alliance in managing the impact of the global financial turmoil.

"It is a crisis for 2/3 of the world and we are not one of the 2/3 yet, so we must join altogether to prevent the global crisis from becoming a Filipino crisis," the President said.

In doing this, the Chief Executive has asked the local executives not to neglect those who feel the hardship of global downturn.

She acknowledged the vital role played by the LCP in helping the country remained as "an island of stability."

In partnership with local government units, the President said the government has been able to invest unprecedented amount in education, health care, infrastructure and other social services.

"Building the edifice of a strong republic is the responsibility of all levels of the government," the President said as she thanked the city mayors "for taking the lead for economic stewardship very seriously."

"You make the jobs of the national government easier because you take also much what has to be done for economic reforms," she said.

She lauded the local executives for showing utmost efficiency in the implementation of crisis management like in dealing with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), avian flu and numerous national disasters and calamities.

More importantly, the President commended the LCP for instituting ways to simplify business processes in the cities.

She said the one-stop shop for businessmen applying for permits and licenses is convenient and well appreciated by investors.

"This put the Philippines on the map as an attractive destination for business, which will ultimately redound to the benefits of our people in terms of jobs and incomes," she said.

Likewise, she described the covenant presented by Metro Manila Mayors as "truly monumental and momentous" which sees to reduce red tape and cost of doing business in the metropolis.

Led by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Peter Favila, and LCP President Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. of Mandaluyong City, the Metro Manila mayors presented to the President the signed covenant aimed to improve the business environment by simplifying and standardizing business registration and permit processing for new business.

Finally, the President called on the local executives to continuously pursue the goal of having the Philippines on the verge of the first world in 20 years. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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