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PIA Press Release

PGMA to open iTAX confab on October 29

By Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (19 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be the guest of honor during the opening of the two-day iTAX International Conference October 29-30 in Dumaguete City.

Capitol Information Officer Adrian Sedillo said the president, in a fax message, has confirmed that she is coming and is expected to deliver a keynote speech to the more than 500 expected participants in the conference.

Initial reports indicate that the president will fly directly to Dumaguete from the Subic International Airport right after she casts her vote during the Barangay and SK Elections in her hometown in Lubao, Pampanga.

The opening day of the iTAX conference on October 29 also happens to be the same day of the Barangay and SK polls.

Considering the magnitude and the kind of personalities who are expected to attend the said activity, Governor Emilio Macias II has sought the President's presence during the opening program.

In fact, the Governor made the effort to personally invite the President during her presidential visit in Bohol last month where the Governor was also one of the local officials invited to meet the President, said Capitol Information Officer Adrian Sedillo.

Sedillo, quoting the Governor, said this has become, more or less, an international conference as the speakers during the two-day activity come from other countries that have already tried the iTAX program.

Those who have also confirmed to attend the conference are the Finance Minister of Tanzania and the German Ambassador to the Philippines.

The Governor was informed that the iTAX has been fully utilized in Tanzania.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her speech during the 28th Lanzones Festival in Camiguin said the Philippine "economy has reached a new level of maturity and stability with some of the strongest macroeconomic fundamentals in 20 years. Six years ago, no one thought we could get more revenues, cut down on tax cheats, strengthen the peso and move the stock market. And no one thought we could bring our budget deficit to almost zero, pre-pay our debts and raise employment…"

She added: "Today, the Philippines is on a path to permanent economic growth and stability. Investments are pouring in, the peso is strong, our stock market has reached historic heights and we have created six million jobs in six years… I am proud of the fact that we are pre-paying our external debt. We will balance the budget in 2008, two years ahead of schedule." (PIA/RMN) [top]

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