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PIA Press Release

PGMA vows to translate economic gains into real benefits for the people

CANDABA, Pampanga (3 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vowed yesterday to translate in a few years the positive results of the economic reforms she implemented to real benefits for the people.

In her message during the First Ibon-Ebon Festival here, the President cited the 7.3 percent growth in the country's economy last year, the fastest in 31 years.

"Getting our growth rate of 7.3 percent, the highest in 31 years, is just the first step," the President said as she vowed to further grow the economy.

She underscored the need to increase investments in infrastructure, social services, education as well as fight graft and corruption to ensure that the benefits of a growing economy trickle down to the grassroots.

She said that residents of the Candaba region would benefit from the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway or the Third Bulacan Circumferential Road.

She said infrastructure is vital to the creation of an environment in which businesses would feel confident to expand and employ more people, "because more jobs means less poverty."

She also stressed the need to invest in the delivery of improved social services such as health insurance subsidies for indigent families and the food for school anti-hunger programs.

At the same time, the President cited the need to boost support to education as part of the overall efforts to reduce poverty by investing in better school buildings, new textbooks and teaching materials, training programs for teachers and school administrators.

The President arrived here this morning to grace the First Ibon-Ebon Festival with the theme "Balance Between the Needs of the People and Those of the Environment."

Upon her arrival, the President inaugurated the "Aklatang Pambata ni Gloria" and the children's playground by ringing the bell hanged at the doorway of the little library at the Ms. Earth Park in Barangay Mandasig here.

The project was constructed with a P1 million counterpart fund from the President's Social Fund. (OPS) [top]

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