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PIA Press Release

Arroyo rallies pro-poor commitments from LGUs, banking sector

Manila (30 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has called for the commitment of local government executives as well as the banking sectors in the government's fight against poverty.

Arroyo sounded the call to the mayors during the annual convention of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines held in Manila recently.

She said with the increased Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA), the mayors can help finance micro-enterprises in their localities.

The President also said that the mayors should come up with their own programs to assist budding entrepreneurs, as the government has allotted P150 billion for microfinance through cooperatives and rural banks.

Arroyo further said the LCEs can also support the conditional cash transfer program that is benefitting about 700,000 families as of date, as an emergency protection for the poorest of the poor, in these times of economic recession.

She said she intends to expand the coverage to one million families at the end of the year.

In addition to these efforts, the President also asked the mayors to assist land reform beneficiaries and help them make their lands productive, while they can also make the poor avail of health services through payment of their PhilHealth premiums.

On the other hand, President Arroyo urged the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific to make development banking an instrument to uplift poorest of the poor in the region.

In her speech read by Press Secretary Cerge Remonde in the CEO Forum, Arroyo said development banking can play a role in the economic rebound as well as for equitable economic development.

"You must know that in these times of great risks and greater gains, your sector will be called upon to increase its contribution to Asia's economic rebound," Arroyo told the bankers.

She added that the Philippines has instituted reforms that enabled SMEs, which are the main clients of development banking in the country, to grow.

She said that reforms must lead to economic growth that is inclined towards the most vulnerable sectors sustainable and meaningful only because it uplifts the poorest in Asia. (PIA6/ESS) [top]

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