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PIA Press Release

PGMA exhorts Cabalen lawyers to help in cushioning impact of global economic crisis

San Fernando, Pampanga (25 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo challenged her Cabalen lawyers and judges to adopt the "public responsibility" principle in the practice of their profession as their contribution to the national government's efforts to maintain the positive momentum of the economy.

The President made the remarks when she addressed the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Pampanga Chapter as it honored its past 17 presidents at the Ballroom 1 & 2 of Holiday Inn Clark, Pampanga.

"Ikayu mo, bilang abogado at huwes, nanu kaya ing puwede yung agawa para makausap kayu para a sulung taya ing momentum na ning national economy arapan da ring mangabayat a kapagsubukan (Bilang mga abogado at huwes, ano kaya ang inyong magagawa para maisulong natin ang momentum ng national economy sa harap ng mabibigat na pagsubok)," the President said in Pampango.

She also advised them that politicking especially in the midst of economic crisis is not good for the country. Instead, the President rallied them to work together to face the biggest challenge of the present because of the negative impact of global economic slowdown.

During her speech, the President reported that her administration had "rebooted" the economy years before the current financial meltdown "and this economic medicine helps a lot in mitigating the impact of worldwide economic turmoil on the Philippines.

"We took our economic medicine through fundamental economic reform by raising taxes, cutting down on smugglers, and reforming our tax collection system and banking laws. Our reform moves paid off with revenue for investments in human and physical infrastructure," the President told lawyers, judges, state prosecutors and other members of IBP here.

She said part of her strategy is the acceleration of investment which started in January 2009 to further stimulate the economy, to help majority of the Filipino people, and to sustain the economic growth.

She said since the global financial turmoil has started to spread, the Philippines recorded its 4.5 to 4.6 percent GDP growth and gross national product (GNP) of 6.1 percent improvement during the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to Japan's GDP declined by 12.7 percent, United States by 5.1 percent, Taiwan by 9.2 percent, Thailand by 4.3 percent, Singapore by 3.7 percent, and Korea by 5.6 percent.

The President told the assembly of lawyers that the $7 billion stimulus spending of the Philippines, in preparation for the world crisis, is bigger than Indonesia's $6.3 billion, Malaysia $4 billion, and Thailand's $3.4 billion.

"But it is not meant to break the bank. We have brought forward investments to further stimulate our economy, to help our people and to sustain the growth that has been so important to our economic success," she said.

In relation to this, the President noted that her administration remains focused on further raising revenues through improvements in tax administration and establishment of a public-private sector fund to support resiliency plan initiatives, provides tax relief for the private sector by reducing corporate income tax from 35 to 40 percent, and by exempting minimum wage earners from personal tax and increasing personal exemptions.

She also said that the national government through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has been processing 3,000 jobs per day as a testament to the government support to all workers here and abroad through retraining programs for them to be more competitive globally.

During the program dubbed as "Aldo Ning Parangal: A Tribute to the Past Presidents of the IBP-Pampanga Chapter," the President awarded plaques of appreciation to the 17 past presidents of the organization for their valuable contributions to the welfare of the society, particularly in the administration of justice.

Cabinet Officer for Region 3 and Internal Affairs Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan, and IBP Pampanga Chapter president Atty. Maria Imelda Q. Tuazon assisted the President in the awarding of plaques.

Those who received a plaque from the President were Silvestre M. Punsalan (1973-1975); Martin M. Roque (1975-1977); Isidro T.. Calma (1977-1979); Ernesto L. Pineda (1979-1981); Cesar L. Paras (1981-1983); Eligio P. Mallari (1983-1985); Vicente L. San Luis (1985-1987); Avelino L. Liangco (1987-1989); Atlee T. Viray (1989-1991); Augurio G. Pamintuan (1991-1993); Zoilo A. Andin (1993-1995); Wilfredo I. Untalan (1995-1997); Wilfrido C. Mangiliman (1997-1999); Ruben L. Feliciano (1999-2001); Federico S. Tolentino, Jr. (2001-2003); Orlando R. Pangilinan (2003-2005); Joseph Jepri M. Miranda (2005-2007); and Maria Imelda Q. Tuazon (2007-2009).

Meanwhile, Atty. Tuazon, said the affair was held to "give recognition to the past presidents of the chapter who have each played a vital role in the pursuit of the organization's three fold objectives."

These objectives are: 1) to elevate the standard of legal profession, 2) to improve the administration of justice, and 3) to enable the bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively.

"This is a good time to honor them," Tuazon said, adding that the chapter has to give recognition to the achievements of their former leaders who have uplifted the standard of legal profession in Pampanga.

Founded in 1973, the chapter with 679 members today was given by the IBP National Office the "Best Chapter Award" under the leadership of lawyers Viray (1989-1991), Untalan (1995-1997), Mangiliman (1997-1999), and Miranda (2005-2007). (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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